Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
  • Publication
    Legal personality, minority religions and religious accommodation in Eastern Europe
    [Juridinis statusas, religinės grupės ir religijos įsitvirtinimas Rytų Europoje]
    research article
    McFaul, Hugh
    Kultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas, 2017, nr. 8(2), p. 13-30
    An important aspect of religious accommodation in the public sphere is the willingness or otherwise of the State to accommodate religious groups, as well as individuals professing religious beliefs. The accommodation of religion in the public sphere can depend upon law and policy makers choosing to recognise certain beliefs and practices as religious beliefs and practices and, in certain contexts, this recognition is contingent upon religious groups acquiring legal personality. Achieving this recognition has proved to be problematic for minority religious groups, especially in Eastern European jurisdictions. This paper seeks to consider State responses to regulating minority religions, including new religious movements, in Eastern Europe by reference to a number of recent cases before the European Court of Human Rights. It will pay particular attention to the extent to which approaches to the acquisition of legal personality for religious groups may restrict or undermine religious freedom and accommodation.
      125  80
  • Publication
    Catholicism in Central and Eastern Europe after Vatican II: assessing the legacy of John Paul II
    [Katalikybė Vidurio ir Rytų Europoje po Vatikano II susirinkimo: Jono Pauliaus II palikimo]
    research article
    Lynch, Andrew P.
    Kultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas, 2017, nr. 8(2), p. 31-49
    Pope John Paul II (2005) called communism an “ ideology of evil”, and fighting it became a centrepiece of his pontificate. As Samuel P. Huntington (1993) argued in his theory of a “third wave” of democratization that occurred after the 1960s, the Church was instrumental in helping Western powers undermine the credibility of the Soviet system, a process that was aided by the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Furthermore, Gilles Kepel (1994) and José Casanova (1994) have analysed the role played by the Catholic Church in a number of countries where religion has been a vanguard for social movements seeking greater freedom amidst national political tensions. This paper examines the legacy of John Paul II’s efforts to oust Soviet communism from not only his homeland of Poland, but from Europe altogether. The paper begins with an examination of John Paul II’s critique of communism as a flawed system and his emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe’s Christian heritage. More specifically, how his writings and campaigning helped to undermine communism in Central and Eastern Europe will be discussed. The paper will then move to an assessment of the legacy of John Paul II’s efforts against communism and consider the role of contemporary Catholicism generally across Central and Eastern Europe as it tries to stake out its share of the religious marketplace against other religions, including Orthodoxy, Protestantism and new religious movements. This will be examined through theories of post-secularism, and secularism. The paper argues that Catholicism has managed to re-emerge as a powerful force in Central and Eastern Europe, but still has work to do if it is to maintain its position in this region and be what Karl Rahner called a “world Church”.
      231  55
  • Publication
    Without losing my religion: the dilemmas of EU integration in Poland
    [Neprarandant savosios religijos. Lenkijos integracijos į ES dilemos]
    research article
    Guerra, Simona
    Kultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas, 2017, nr. 8(2), p. 51-68
    In Poland, the Catholic Church has always maintained its vital role across society. During the communist regime, the Catholic Church supported resistance and autonomy and provided legitimacy to any organised form of protest and opposition. Since 1989, it had to re-position itself across the changing social and political life. One of the main aims of the democratization process in the country was Polish membership to the EU. Yet, the Catholic Church never assumed homogenous and coherent positions. Although levels of public support for EU integration were rather high up to the middle 1990s, concerns started to emerge around possible secular European threats towards Polish culture and values. The Catholic Church could so represent the ally of those who sought to defend Polish traditional values. If the official Catholic Church remained rather pragmatic towards EU integration, and finally supportive, although never enthusiastic, it was in these years that radical right and right wing groupings became electorally successful, as with the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin: LPR), campaigning on Euroscepticism and the mobilization against abortion, euthanasia and the role of the Church in the Polish life. An analysis on the Polish National Election Studies shows that these issues are still significant after fifteen years. Despite an overall positive macro-economic situation, in 2015, at the presidential and parliamentary elections, Poles voted against the incumbent, Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska: PO). Young people’ disillusionment and citizens’ disappointment towards the incumbent shifted the votes towards PiS (Law and Justice, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość: PiS), Kukiz’15, and KORWiN. Their agenda, advocating social national conservative (PiS), sometimes populist (Kukiz’15), and radical right and hard Eurosceptic (KORWiN) programmes can still indicate that Polish values and Polish policy towards the EU are salient factors, while the radical Catholic Church can still play an important role in the social and political life of the process of Europeanization of Poland.
      226  85
  • Publication
    White man law versus black magic women. Racial and gender entanglements of witchcraft policies in Romania
    [Baltojo žmogaus teisės prieš magiškas juodąsias moteris: raganavimo rasės ir lyties sąsajos Rumunijoje]
    research article
    Coțofană, Alexandra
    Kultūra ir visuomenė: socialinių tyrimų žurnalas, 2017, nr. 8(2), p. 69-95
    This study focuses on structural discrimination in Romania, based on gender and racial logics. The article analyzes social policies directed at a historically marginalized ethnic group, the Rroma. Racial logics have often been used in colonial encounters or experiences of slavery, where a “witch-enemy” was created to differentiate the white from the non-white, the educated from the uneducated (Perkinson 2004). In investigating important changes in the role of spirituality in Romania, this paper follows the intersections of religion, belief and the secular in public life, legislation and everyday practices. In 2007, Romania completed its accession to the European Union. The EU made demands for more efficient measures against racial discrimination1 (Bale 2013; Schiek, Chege 2008), one of the biggest socio-economic issues of the country. Romania carries a burden of five centuries of Rroma slavery (Kaplan 2016) and the largest WWII Rroma genocide (Gheorghe 2013), equaled only by the silence of the Romanian state surrounding past and present anti-Rroma racial violence. To track historical patterns, the article analyzes contemporary cases of Romanian politicians developing what seems to be racist policies, aimed at a historically marginalized group in Europe. Witchcraft is a productive category to think through global, political and economic insecurities. Panics around the occult symbolize larger cultural anxieties regarding socio-economic changes and indicate a move to challenge an existing order (Mantz 2007).
      737  85
  • Publication
    Religion and politics in contemporary Turkey: attitudes of atheists
    [Religija ir politika šiuolaikinėje Turkijoje: ateistų požiūris]
    research article
    Kasapoglu, Tayfun
    Kultūra ir visuomenė : socialinių tyrimų žurnalas = Culture and society : journal of social research. Kaunas : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, 2017, nr. 8(2), p. 97-113
    As contemporary societies tend to experience a more heterogeneous religious landscape, it becomes more difficult for governments to accommodate religious differences, various beliefs and non-religion within the realm of politics. By drawing upon semi-structured interviews with 12 self-identified atheists from different backgrounds in Turkey, this paper explores the attitudes of atheists towards the intersection of religion and politics in contemporary Turkey. In this paper, the concept of hegemony by Antonio Gramsci is used in order to analyze the hegemonic position of Islam within the realm of politics in contemporary Turkish society. Rather than a Marxist view of a clear-cut dichotomy of classes as ruling and ruled, a Bourdieuan approach, where society is thought to be consisting of many “fields,” including religion and many groups that strive to gain more power within these fields, was adopted. The results indicated that atheists perceive religion and politics as closely intertwined, as politics are perceived as being strongly influenced by religion. The close connection between politics and religion is then seen as leading to an increase in religiosity in society, as well as to increasing pressure on atheists both by the state and the public.
      138  122