Legacy and challenges: Sociology of religion in Central and Eastern Europe
Department for Social Work University of Zagreb - Faculty of Law Zagreb, Croatia
Department for Sociology University of Zagreb - Faculty of Philosophy 10000, Croatia
This paper will focus on the development of the sociology of religion in Central and Eastern European countries after the fall of communism. The paper is divided in three parts. The first part will briefly outline the development of the sociology of religion in Croatia, and the second part the development of the sociology of religion in other parts of the former Yugoslavia. The comparison of these developments will show the interaction between legacy (some former republics of the former Yugoslavia had quite developed sociology of religion, some much less) and social development in the period after 1989, characterized by war, conflicts, political isolation of majority of post-Yugoslav countries, and by revitalization of the social role of religion. In the third part of the paper this analysis will be extended to other Central and Eastern European countries. The sociology of religion in that region experienced rapid development, measured by research and papers at national and international conferences and journals, but there are also reasons for critical judgment about that development. The crucial questions are: (a) who and how set the agenda for research, (b) how (if) different religious situation of different countries is reflected in sociology of religion, and (c) if there is a need for different concepts and theoretical approaches in comparison to sociology of religion of Western countries.