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En France, tous ces cultes restent donc relativement marginaux! Gonthier et S. Astor aux Presses universitaires de Grenoble. Que l'on se pose la question de l'existence de Dieu dans le cadre du principe anthropique fort, je veux bien. Je relis distraitement ces diverses contributions. Je ne sais Celui que priaient les gens mais tous priaient Veuillez remplir tous les champs obligatoires avant de soumettre votre commentaire. Voir les conditions d'utilisation. Ajouter aux favoris Commenter Envoyer par email. Connectez-vous Abonnez-vous. Laquelle des propositions suivantes est vraie? Signaler un contenu abusif.

As I understand it, homogenizing here means that certain constellations of beliefs and practices cristallize large sociological ensembles, for example the congregational domain and the more holistic spiritual nebula. Homogenization also in the way that religion and spirituality are experienced as open-ended quests for meaning — I will come back to this point. To speak of homogenization means that some kind of regulation is at work within culture at large. If traditional religious institutions no longer perform such a regulation, where are we to find such a regulating function in our societies?

Such standardization is evidence of a new form of regulation, one much more diffuse and implicit and un-assignable than traditional institutions. But to which extent is this path one in which the sociology of religion should venture? Are there any avenues better than others? Market and economic concepts in the study of religion Iannaccone is one of the tenors of the application of Rational Action and Market theories to religion. Ideally, such entreprises are looking to extend their market share into a monopoly.

This model is unsatisfactory for many reasons, as it leaves emotions, impulses, unconscious determinations such as those linked to family and social status and symbolic effectiveness aside. This model also reduces human behaviour and institutional logics to the pursuit of interest be it in economic or political terms and capital be it symbolic.

Humanitarianism, empathy and other forms of disinterest which we find abundantly in religions are reduced to being particular and peculiar forms of self-interest, and are inserted into a utilitarian arithmetic of profits and losses. Social reality, made up of individual motivations and desires, seems to me more complex. This model considers individuals from the sole point of view of demand and religious institutions from the point of view of offer.

Since religion is increasingly spiritualized and shy of institutional attachment, this is problematic. The list of shortcomings goes on and on. The economic law of supply and demand is telescoped into a universal and transhistoric law of Nature.


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Yet, this is not only far from being attested but simply radically rebutted by whole landmasses of ethnological, anthropological, sociological and even economical material. The market is supposed to be value-free and self-instituted, arguments against which it is once again possible to drum up serious opposition. If there is such as thing as a market regulation of religion, it is certainly not free of normativity. Rather, such a regulation is historically instituted and promotes certain values such as performance, progress, individualism and expressivism. Although some of these works are undoubtedly interesting, this approach in general does not avoid reducing religion to utilitarianism or economics.

The implicit claim is that religion can be universally be conceived in terms of offer and demand of salvation goods, mistaking what is a decent sociological description of contemporary phenomena for an explanation and an anthropologically valid analytic for religion in general. Ethnographers and anthropologists seldom get inspired by these models on their turf. The same is true for marketing terms which see religious organizations competing for consumer niches. While being immediately evocative, this conception is misleading.

As Linda Woodhead and Paul Heelas have shown, people today do not mix and match anything with everything. For instance, the congregational domain and holistic spirituality are two symbolic universes which are quite radically heterogeneous. Contemporary religiosity is far more coherent and systematic than most research is seemingly ready to admit.

Who makes them and why? Who decides how wide and high the shelves are?

Another way of thinking religion and the market There might be a better way of thinking about religion today with respect to the growing influence of the market and the globally increasing influence of economics on societies and culture. If Weber and Durkheim came onto the problem of religion in quite opposite manners, both did so while trying to seize the specificity of Modernity and Western societies. Thus their sociology of religion was at the crux of their respective efforts for a general sociology.


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And so why not inspire ourselves of this methodology today and re-inscribe the study of religion within a general sociology of contemporary societies. It results from a long process through which moderns have learned to believe that their presence in this world is not the fact of some natural law or divine will.

39 Ouvrages

Rather, they have come to believe in their interiority and that the object of life is the pursuit of happiness and well-being. As the divine moved to increasing degrees of transcendence with respect to this mortal plane in Protestant theology, the inner depths of human subjects appeared in all of their appealing yet discomforting strangeness. Consumption is therefore more than simply purchase and waste, void of meaning and symbolic dimensions. Consumption, as far as it is a human activity, is to various degrees symbolic. This perspective goes a lot deeper than descriptions of religion today in market terms.

The advent of consumer society has allowed for the idea of choice to become a manifestation of individuality, i. The idea of choice is not the specific action of a hypothetical more or less rational and utilitarian homo oeconomicus.

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It potentially involves profound signification by actualizing social determinations and imperatives in individual and singular quests for meaning, happiness, liberty and recognition. For Taylor, the phenomena making post-War consumerism are un-dissociable of its underlying quest for the Self and its realization. This amounts to a massification of the expressive Romantic conception of life which holds that each individual has his own personal way of realizing his own humanity and that it is important that everyone should discover his own path rather than conform to pre-existing models imposed from the exterior by society and its institutions.

In other words, this model of self-realization, which presents itself as an anti-model, is the new model, with normative and socially integrative functions. Lemieux noted that the subjective turn required personal narratives constructing meaning from experience. Only the present, i. The past amounts to the value given to prior experience and to the progress accomplished, the road travelled.

Fil d'Ariane

The future is the horizon, source of unknown and anguish but also promise of open possibilities. The future is the promise of further realization and the guarantee that present beliefs will be challenged. Life itself then seems to prove that one has to move on, change, transform and progress. Experience itself, then, becomes that through which a subject is revealed to himself. This, we may stress, is a radically different way of producing meaning than was the case before. Thus many people choosing alternative therapeutics say that they did so out of dissatisfaction with modern medicine which did not recognize their illness or symptom.

The authority has shifted from the professional to the person. The coherence of belief systems is therefore not to be found in the internal logic of its elements or the purity and authenticity of its sources, but rather in their function within personal narratives. Each moment in life commands a new interpretation of the road travelled to date, with the accompanying knowledge that further interpretations will be necessary, even welcomed to the extent that they attest to progress made. The life itinerary is conceived as evolving towards a better conscience, a deeper understanding of oneself and a superior morality.

It is the individualization of the Modern myth of Progress. Such effectiveness in realizing progress is the criteria which presides over new interpretations, rather than fidelity to tradition or orthodoxy. New interpretations are generally linked to experiences of rupture, be they positive, such as intense, transformative experiences, or negative, such as loss or failure.

Volume 52, Supplement 1 - Sociologie du travail

These narratives are symbolic works which function to totalize individual lives and make continuity out of discontinuity, disparateness and contradiction. Individual itineraries of meaning are not the fact of isolated monads, they are the means through which identity is defined and lived.

They are means of inscribing subjectivities within the more general narrative of culture. They are both appropriations of culture and construction of social reality. This way of problematizing religion is helpful since it enables us to seize how the subjective turn does not produce atomized individuals but rather individuals summoned to construct a place within society through a process of differentiation which requires constant rapports to otherness, be it through intimate relations, affinity groups or the mediasphere in which we need to include highly invested phenomena such as Facebook and YouTube.

Identity is always a product of recognition, and the more our societies value change as it is structured by the imperatives of the market, the more the need for recognition becomes incessant and reiterated, sometimes to the point of hysteria I am not attaching any value judgement to this term , especially in moments of identity transformation such as the passage to adulthood.

It is only through exchange that individual beliefs and significations are stabilized.

Olivier Bobineau

Mutual recognition produces a minima of certainty, hence the importance of phenomena such as effervescent gatherings, virtual communities and hyper-mediatization which are all vectors for social recognition. The more the individualization, the more the need is felt for community niches and group experiences.

Religious belief, as we just saw, is secondary to experience and practice, and are structured in personal narratives which we can call meaning itineraries. This approach allows us to see that the aforementioned characteristics of contemporary religiosity form an interdependent system. This is a significantly different way of casting the rapports linking religion and the market then the approaches mentioned above.