Dvojí tradice české sociologie náboženství
Two Traditions of Czech Sociology of Religion
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Regardless of the role religion plays in the world today, i.e. despite the significant de-privatisation of faith in the socio-cultural space and in politics, contemporary Czech sociology of religion is in rather poor shape. The author presents a number of factors to explain this, including the legacy of the communist regime, and low levels of church attendance in the Czech Republic, the latter having been erroneously interpreted as non-religiosity. But the author focuses mainly one other reason: the discordant legacy of Czech pre-communist sociology of religion and the neighbouring field of social studies. Two different traditions of the subject are identified - the 'profane' sociology of religion, founded by T. G. Masaryk, and Catholic religious sociology. Although the former legacy declared itself non-religious and even anti-clerical, in the case of many of its followers this claim was only partially true. In the 1930s and 1940s, when they (especially Prague's sociological school, which formed a certain opposition to Masaryk) turned more towards Durkheimian attitudes, they emphasised, for example, their own religious experience as a necessary tool for understanding piety. On the other hand, Catholic religious sociology was closely related to church activism, policy, and contemporary social work, i.e. strictly conservative and anti-modern. Its way of understanding modern society was discounted by the former group of scholars, though to at least some degree the two legacies shared similar methodological approaches. Both certainly seem outdated today, but their theoretical and methodological discussions and their findings remain of importance. Consequently, a re-thinking of these legacies and their theoretical backgrounds is still significant for the sociology of religion today.
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