9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS11 Religion and the Sociology of Religion in Europe

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Religion and the Sociology of Religion in Europe I Building AA, AA.324

Charity in religious institutes: person's identitification and social policy

The paper bases on the author's research of religious charity in the Republic of Tatarstan of Russia in 2006-2009: the study of Muslim charity - official discourse and daily life of people and Muslim clerics (discourse analysis, interviews); the study of charity practices of Muslim and Christian organizations in Tatarstan (interviews); the role of charity in religious identity (interviews); the popularity of charity in Tatarstan society at hole (mass survey).
The official discourse of religious charity connects it with traditional patriarchic values and serves to support the ethic renaissance in Tatarstan (especially the Tatar's identity), far from daily practices and particular needs of local religious organizations. The factual behavior of people shows quite low inclusion to charity practices and low level of value of charity - both religious and secular. The official proclamation of Muslim charity and arisen of Muslim identity doesn't correspond with activity of people. The features of religious charity behavior reflect the peculiarities of religious identification which shows more often poor inclusion of religious belifes in daily life. The most popular form of religious charity are alms and "home religious meetings" (among Muslims) which "symbolic exchange" supports ethnic and religious identity, reproduction of family values.
At the same time some practices of religious charity is structuring in some religious instutitions and even fill desideratum in social work in sphere of work with prisoners, the disable, drug-addicted people. Fundraising of majority of local religious organization is not developed and use mostly work with individuals then with corporations, but some institutions with high official status obtain permanent support by pro-state big enterprises.