9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS11 Religion and the Sociology of Religion in Europe

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Religion and the Sociology of Religion in Europe III Building AA, Auditorio Afonso de Barros

Strategies of the constructing of credibility of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland in the face of cultural-political transformation after 1989 year

The aim of my paper is to answer to the question about methods of maintaining of credibility of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland (RCC) in the dimension of actions and statements. My presentation will be based on the research which included analysis of content of the official and unofficial documents of RCC in Poland (1990-2008) concerning the social problems related to the political and economic modernisation. The research includes also the interviews with clergymen about this issue.
The category of the credibility of religion was inspired by P.L.Berger's ascertainment and reinterpretation of his theory made by the Polish sociologists e.g. I.Borowik. In the epoch of the individualisation of the West, where the superior value is the goodness of an individual independent to the transcendent conditioning, monopolistic religions experience the crisis of credibility. Religion concern as immutable truth is much more harder to justify, particularly in the situation of pluralism which accepts the different structures of credibility concerned by an individual as possibilities of choice. These possibilities are not always mutually exclusive and axiological conflicting. The perception of a religion in the context of the pluralistic process is dependent on how much credible is a explanation of a religion system about its functioning in the new social order. The aspiration for making a religion credible is the convincing to its functionality in the presence of a new social reality.
The social changes in Poland after 1989 have become the impetus to reinterpretation by the RCC its new role in the context of occurring changes. The RCC which has been for ages the dominant in Poland creates the different strategies of dealing with the differentiated reality. These strategies are present both in the dimension of the church?s rhetoric and symbolic actions. As my research proved the main strategies are e.g.:
- Sacralisation of the social reality understood as justification of the desired social order where occurs appeal to the sacrum sphere.
- Negation of the different outlooks on life and the dichotomisation of the social reality.
- Assimilation what means obliteration of the contradictions between traditionally understood sacrum and profanum.