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RN34 - Sociology of Religion

Understanding Religions in Europe – social, cultural, political and public dimensions

The network contributes to a truly European discussion on the state of religion in Europe. It provides a forum for various cooperative research endeavours on the European level. It explores the social situation of religion in European societies, thus recognising the diversity of religion in Europe. It is concerned with the transformations of religion and religiosity in Europe, analysing how European religions are changing over time. The network was launched in 2011 at the bi-annual ESA conference in Geneva.

Given the differences between the national traditions within the sociology of religion (e.g. Italy has a different state of research than France or Germany, let alone Spain or Poland), the network takes into account the multiple voices of European approaches, acknowledging the different sociological traditions in European societies. This is particularly important because of the immense variety of religious situations in different European countries, as well as the plurality of discourses of the sociology of religion in the various European languages.

One of our main priorities is bridging the gap between the discourses in the various fields of sociology as represented by ESA, and the specialised debate in the sociology of religion. The network seeks to establish an intensified discussion between sociology in general, special sociologies, and the sociology of religion. This goal is pursued by cooperating with various research networks in ESA. In particular, we are focusing on intensifying:

  1. Relations between the sociology of religion and sociological theory
  2. Relations between the sociology of religion and the sociology of general culture
  3. Relations between the sociology of religion and empirical methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  4. Relations between the sociology of religion and special sociologies, such as migration, minorities, political sociology, and more