Session I - Guest Lecture

Ralph W. Hood Jr. A Reconsideration of William James and the Common Core Thesis in Mysticism

The contemporary study of mysticism is stymied by the existence of separate and discrete literatures that continue to remain largely ignorant of each other in what McGinn (1994) has argued is an "unrealized conversation" (p. 343). McGinn provides threefold classification of three distinct literatures combine. However, he ignores other distinct literatures, including measurement based studies of mysticism and experimental and quasi-experimental elicitation of mystical experiences in both laboratory and natural life conditions (Hood, 1995; 1997).  Given the unrealized conversation, more studies of mysticism may be less useful than conceptual clarification concerning the data on mysticism we already have (Almond, 1982).

A reconsideration of the work of William James might be a place to gain insights into what characterizes the unrealized conversations in the study of mysticism.  I will begin with James, and end with a focus upon the empirical study of mysticism under the clarifying lens of James' more metaphysical thought. The bringing together of discrete literatures on mysticism is in what I take to be the spirit of interdisciplinary in the call for a new paradigm in the psychology of religion (Emmons &Paloutzian, 2003) and the beginning of a realized conversation where discrete literatures converge to a significant degree in support of a common core thesis which I will defend in this paper.

Session II

William V. D'Antonio, Steven A. Tuch, Josiah R. Baker Religion, Politics, and Polarization

Do the religious affiliations of elected officials shape the way they vote on key issues facing the country? In this study we trace the influence of religion in the increasingly polarized U.S. Congress over the past 40 years. Drawing on roll call votes, survey data, and extensive background research we argue that the political ideologies of both major political parties are grounded in distinctive religious visions. 

DominikaMotak „Liberation of religiosity from religion": G. Simmel's concept of emotional origins of religion

The aim of this paper is to present Georg Simmel's concept of emotional "origins" of religion. Simmel's sociology of religion is based on the assumption that religion – as a social institution organised around transcendent beliefs – emerges in social relations of special intensity (termed "religious semi-products"). Nevertheless, religion is not a mere projection of psychosocial feelings.  The social origins of religion do not fully account for its nature because religion, as an individual experience, is also a "process which each soul must beget for itself"; in this sense, „there are «origins» of religion which lie long after the [historical] «origin» of religion." These individual "origins" of religion constitute the basis of individual religiosity and a kind of pre-stage of religion. Religious attitude „creates" the finished product of religion, but it can also express itself in other forms. This paper will reflect on Simmelian theorem of „liberation of religiosity from religion" and discuss its implications for the study of religion.


MarcinLisak Religious freedom as disconnecting Catholic integralism and tolerance. Sociological-philosophical reflections on a link between monotheism and violence

The notion that a monotheistic religion has, intrinsically, a dangerous tendency to promote violence and intolerance is part of the conventional wisdom of Western societies. Nevertheless, such a presumption is, as seen from a sociological point of view, a stereotype. Correspondingly to that, the author of the paper examines the development in understanding and promotion to the idea of religious freedom across the Catholic church in last two centuries. As result of the study, it is evident that a linkage between Christianity and intolerance or symbolic violence is neither necessary nor impossible. The advancement of the idea of religious freedom is, albeit, a key point of reference to evaluate socio-ideological dimension of public religion. The author's appraisal is based on threefold methodology: philosophical and sociological approach as well as theological hermeneutics. All these methodologies have to be employed to analyse the whole complexity of that socio-religious phenomenon.


Session III

TereskaLynam Religious Commercialism and its Cannibalization of the Mainstream Expression

This paper centers on the macro- and micro-economic effects of what is now referred to as "Religious Evangelism".  There are many definitions of this phrase, but here it is used to describe religious groups – often "extremists" within a broader religious context – who actively proselytize, seeking "converts" who will propel their movement into a political powerhouse. These groups use hefty financial contributions from members to increase numbers through "conversions" and sales of paraphernalia, usually books music, and DVDs, but increasingly into more bizarre products such as t-shirts, jewelry, and even lip-gloss.  Through commercial and marketing efforts, evangelists attract further "converts" to their organizations and use them as volunteers to continue the cycle of growth.

What has been under-researched in academia is the effect of religious evangelism on "mainstream" religious followers.  Data from the USA increasingly proves that the combination of extremism and commercialism within a religious movement drives "mainstreamers" away from religious practice entirely, thus destabilizing the overall religious following.


Tomasz Ponikło Faith as Relation. Sociological Perspective

Faith can be for individuals the relation. As the relation it is defined in the Catholic Church, especially in the last decades by popes after the VaticanumSecundum. That makes a difference among others, even monotheistic religions. Faith as the personal relation man-God can have consequences in the social life. Relation always goes in two directions and influences both sides: man can act ‘influenced' by God, and the ‘image' of God in one's eyes may be changed according to the faith. Faith as the relation is dynamic and subjective. It is not simply living in the certain way to achieve given ethical standards or to comply with the religious and cultural rules – it is not fitting to the given schemas. The ‘objective' element (norms) comes after ‘subjective' (relation), however both of them are closely linked: next to faith as the personal relation, there are in the Catholic Church dogmas and institutionalization (to regulate orthodoxies and orthopraxis of believers).

Is sociology able to understand the faith as the relation? Looking for answers, I would like to present the reflections inspired with the Relational Sociology by PierpaoloDonati and the Theory of the Context by Teun A. van Dijk and with the Catholic theology. Donati presents the model of sociological thinking of the society which makes space for transcendental relation – his works are not discussed in Poland, however they may be very inspiring for the local researchers. Van Dijk presents the theory which can lead to the better understanding of the dynamic of the social relations, when he describes the dynamic of discourse.


Karolina Prochownik Priming religion: what can it tell us about religious prosociality?

The idea of so called "priming studies" in the field of cognitive science of religion (CSR) is to manipulate religious cognition to examine its plausible consequences for moral reasoning and/or moral behaviour. In the first step participants are exposed to words associated with a particular conceptual category (morality, law, religion, science) to make it cognitively accessible. For instance priming with words like "God", "spirit", "church" or similar is supposed to activate people's representations of religious concepts, without making them to reflect on them consciously (supraliminal or subliminal priming). Secondly, the implicit activation of religious cognition is expected to affect participants' behaviour on designed cooperative task. Interestingly many recent studies have shown that religious priming increases prosociality i.e. generosity and cooperation, and decreases antisocial behaviour like cheating (Shariff&Norenzayan 2007; Ahmad & Salas, 2011; Randolph-Seng & Nielsen 2007). In this paper priming methodology applied to the issue of "religious prosociality" will be scrutinized, and fairly assessed in terms of its advantages and limitations.


Session IV

Robert Czyżykowski Anthropology of the body and Religious Studies – reflections from the research of the Bengali VaishnavaSahajiya tradition

Anthropology of the body is the discipline which emerged mainly from anthropological reflection on the bodily practice in archaic and premodern societies. It might be partially recognized also as a subdiscipline of the Religious Studies, closely connected to Anthropology of Religion. (which, according to A. Wierciński, might be understood as a new discipline - a synthesis of the Culture Anthropology, Study of Religion and scientific Anthropology). The human body, its image and whole spectrum of practice focused on the body in religious traditions, is the subject of interest of the Anthropology of the body. In  the case of the medieval Tantric and Yogic Indian traditions, the focus on human body is natural and unavoidable element of practice. The research on the Bengali VaishnavaSahajiya tradition, which is supposed to be a main topic of presentation (with its methodological implications), confirms the demand of the interdisciplinary approach in Religious Studies and Anthropology of the body.

Joanna Gruszewska Feminist approach in the study of Buddhism – some remarks

Proposed paper would like to present the history of development and main contemporary problems of feminist scholarship on Buddhism. Although some of the early research on the subject was overlooked, nowadays, the study of woman in Buddhism has gradually evolved – it has extended from textual debate to scholarship not only on ancient belief, but also on modern realizations and practices and became a vital part of Buddhist studies. Proposed paper would reflect on Western and Asian feminist approaches towards Buddhism and would be an attempt to sum up the main problems of modern scholarship, its shortcomings and its perspectives.

Marzena Szugiero Various forms of Jewish women headcovering in the Kingdom of Poland. (Ortho)praxis, cultural battles and debates.

In 1845, the government of the Kingdom of Poland, due to the orders from the Imperial Russia, began imposing the sequence of laws forbidding the traditional Jewish attire, including haircuts and headcovering. In 1851 the ritual hair shaving among Jewish women was made illegal. To say the least, meanwhile as well as in the couple of next decades a repertoire of not permitted forms of  headcovering was being widened or recognised as a matter of discussion. Regardless of the real impact of the governmental project, the Jewish women hair issue prompted a lively debate among both Gentile and Jewish societies. In my presentation I would like to combine discourse analysis with an insight into (ortho)praxis and changes in fashion. In other words, I tend to focus on a specificity of the language code and argumentation, and highlight crucial points such as  status of minhagim, but at the same time not neglecting the ‘non-paper' world.

Session V

PiotrCzarnecki The continuity of Christian dualist tradition in the Middle-Ages

The continuity of Christian dualist tradition is recently very often denied by the proponents of the alternative interpretation of catharism, claiming, that it was not rooted in earlier dualist heresies. Such an opinion is caused by the neglect of sources concerning eastern dualist heresies – paulicianism and bogomilism. In my presentation I will focus on the source testimonies, that confirm the connections between medieval dualisms, and in consequence – the continuity of dualist tradition from paulicianism through bogomilism to catharism. This continuity is confirmed both, by informations about the journeys of dualist missionaries between the East and the West and the similarities between overmentioned heresies in the field of doctrine, cult and organization.

David Zbíral Narratives about the Beginnings of Cathar Groups: Historical Accounts or Polemical Fantasies?

Several texts from the 12th and 13th centuries (Ebervin of Steinfeld's letter to St. Bernard, 1143/1147; De heresicatharorum, 1190/1215; Charter of Niquinta, 1220s?; Tractatus de hereticis, 1250/1280) depict the beginnings of various dissident groups labeledCathar by some modern scholars. These narratives have been studied mostly as either historical facts or polemical fictions. In this paper, I try to refine this sharp division. In the light of current discussions on the "invention of heresy", and in line with Peter Biller's article "Goodbye to Waldensianism?" (Past and Present, 192, 2006, 3-33), I argue that there are good reasons not to consider these narratives mono-vocal polemical fables, as Jean-Louis Biget has claimed following (and slightly simplifying) Gabriele Zanella's thoughts, but a poly-vocal narrative trying to make sense of cathar groups also using their own narratives. This view deliberately counters the current deconstructionist trend, eye-opening in many ways but ideological when transformed into a dogma sweeping away what interpretive historical work should continue to be, i.e. the patient and open-minded reading of sources.

Session VI

Kamil Kardis Tożsamość religijna jednostki wobec paradygmatu społeczeństwa doznań. Kontekst współczesnych teorii socjologicznych

Prezentowany referat poddaje analizie socjologicznej zjawisko rewitalizacji religii i afiliacji religijnych w perspektywie społeczeństwa doznań. Rozważania koncentrują się na problematyce konstrukcji tożsamości jednostki w zmieniających się warunkach społeczeństwa ponowoczesnego i supermarketyzacji religii. Nowe formy religijności i duchowości są przeciwieństwem religijności zinstytucjonalizowanej i przejawiają się w bardzo zróżnicowanych formach. Ukierunkowane są na poszukiwanie ofert niosących sens życia dla jednostki na „rynku transcendencji", często bez odniesienia do Boga osobowego, a nawet bezosobowego. Człowiek o tej duchowości czy religijności jest na ogół postchrześcijaninem w klasycznym rozumieniu tego słowa. Procesualna natura nowej religijności sprawia, że ma ona wiele zmiennych „twarzy", jednorodna religijność przekształca się w różnorodność. Nie ma już jednolitości przekonań religijnych opartych na ciągłości społecznej

Maria Kardis Mit jako wieczna filozofia w warunkach desekularyzacji społeczeństwa

Prezentowany referat poddaje analizie religioznawczej fenomen rewitalizacji myślenia mitycznego w kontekście paradygmatu zmiany społecznej.  W tym kontekście należy zwrócić uwagę na poszczególne koncepcje i założenia teoretyczne mitu w związku z pojęciami religia, rytuał i sacrum, traktujące ten fenomen w kategoriach uniwersalnej formy myślenia proponującej również w społeczeństwie ponowoczesnym odpowiedzi na definitywne pytania egzystencji człowieka w wymiarze jednostkowym, jak i społecznym.

Andrzej Szyjewski Księżyc i opos – australijska metaforyka sacrum

Księżyc jest w mitach Aborygenów przedstawiany jako postać silnie nacechowana męskością, powiązana z kompleksem inicjacyjnym i ideą kosmicznej regeneracji. Mity lunarne opierają się na opozycji Słońce/Księżyc, która zostaje skorelowana z relacją żeńskie/męskie oraz ogień/woda. Kluczem do odnalezienia korelacji procesu inicjacyjnego i wymiaru wertykalnego jest ekwiwalencja Księżyc ≡ opos. Księżyc bowiem wstępując po Drzewie Kosmicznym na niebo powtarzał behawior oposów, wspinających się na drzewa w ucieczce przed zagrożeniem, zaś podpalający Drzewo Kruk (bądź żona/żony Księżyca) polował na Księżyc tak jak poluje się na oposy – wykurzając je z nadrzewnej kryjówki. Przystroje z futra i zębów oposa stanowią znacznik przejścia przez inicjacje typu Bora. Oznacza to przyjęcie tożsamości zwierzęcia i jego niebiańskiej reprezentacji, a więc uczestnictwo w procesie sakralnego odrodzenia. W konsekwencji obowiązuje ich zakaz jedzenia tłustego mięsa oposów. Futra oposów kojarzone są z halo Księżyca, a ich tłuszcz z nabieraniem ciała w czasie pełni. Podstawowa symbolika inicjacyjna, poprzez operatora w postaci oposa, zostaje odniesiona do mitologii lunarnej, opisującej przejście Księżyca przez śmierć i jego ponowne pojawienie się na niebie.

Session VII

DawidLipiński Can we talk about prayer outside of Christianity? The problem with the existence of prayer in Pagan Rome

In the era of postmodernism every scientist should be aware of the fact that absolute objectivity, especially in the humanities and social sciences is impossible. Always our experience, worldview, culture, in which we were brought up, will be more or less influence on our approach to the object of study. It will be left its mark on the methodology and interpretation of test results. Even more is important, that each scientist try our best to get to know each other in order to "suspend" their thinking in a given culture, that most come close to absolute scientific objectivity. If a scientist doesn't do so, then it will result in seeing the phenomena characteristic of their culture in the cultures of other peoples, both in terms of synchronous, e.g. today Polynesian peoples, and diachronic, e.g. the Poles living in the sixteenth century. The consequence of this is creating a false image of the community group.

Of all the forms of culture, there is probably nothing more complex with the man and so strongly acting on it than religious faith. Very often in work on religion I can meet the projection of religious beliefs on the interpretation of the subject. An example here might even be treated by Anna Wierzbicka concept of "good" and "bad" as the elementary units. The same applies to historians and classic philologists engaged in the concept of "ancient prayer", for example, F. Chapot and B. Laurot, F.V. Hickson, D. Musial (as well as dealing with prayer in general basis A.M. Di Nola, M. Meslin, A. Pastorino, G. Ravasi). They are looking in the ancient world phenomena that would meet the definition of contemporary-Christian prayer, so claimed by many scientists (e.g. Chapot and Laurot) the difficulty in defining ancient prayer and identifying which the surviving texts should be regarded as such. This results in allocating the same group anthems, oaths, supplication, etc., entangling is then unsuccessful attempts to build a typology of reconciling it all.

I would like to focus on two aspects of the problem outlined above - methodological and materials. In the first one I want to show to what mistakes can lead projection an intuitive concepts of their own culture to another for example the concept of "prayer", and clearly formulate the postulate that the concept is characteristic of the world of Judeo-Islamo-Christian, and for other cultures would be use more generally the term "religious phrase". In the second part of my paper I will try to define the various manifestations of "religious phrases" for the religion of Rome, making their typology and clearly demonstrated the absence of compatibility with religious phrases of the Christian world and the pagan.

Tetiana Shevchenko The Issue of Religious Identity in Early Modern Times: Prince Ostrogski's Case

This paper presents the results of the empirical research of the issue of religious identity in Early Modern Times in the historical context. It deals with an example of Prince Ostrogski's person, the main protector of the Orthodox Church in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of that time, and the features of his controversy with the Jesuit PiotrSkarga. It is characterized the social status of the Price and his family, the role of religion in their life, the Jesuit activity in the estates of the Ostrogskis' relatives in Jaroslaw, the Protestant activity of their other relatives and the Ostogskis themselves. In this way the historical context of the peculiarity of religious identity of Prince Ostrogski is composed. Skarga's appeal to the Prince to convert to Catholicism in 1577 is analyzed. The differences between Ostrogski's and Skarga's social status and their world-views, the medieval and early modern ones, are cleared up as the main causes of the fail of Skarga's appeal.

Elena Ryygas Sacralization of loci and localization of social status in the urban Orthodox cathedrals

Traditional high iconostasis in the Orthodox temples causes not only a low level of interaction between church-goers and clerics, but also such phenomena as dividing liturgical area on many spontaneously sacralized loci around venerated icons, shrines with remains of Saints and also near spots with meliorated visibility of behind the ambo actions. These loci are reinterpreted by persons, possessing different cultural background and religious education, as resource to increase their own symbolic capital. Thus, parishioners aim to master aforementioned loci to dominate in liturgical area during the divine service, whereupon attending the divine service transforms into performance, the main aim of it reduce to demonstration of social status.

Recent trend to interpret before the ambo platform (originally an auxiliary area of altar) as a place with the same sacral status that usually only Lord's table has was responsible for imprisonment of non-formal-prayer participants in the Christ-the-Savior Cathedral in Moscow in 2012.

Session VIII

Viktor Sidorov Церковь в медиасфере постсекулярного общества: диалектика реального и

Медиа-сфера – совокупность социально значимых дискурсов и форм их организации, результат коммуникации институтов общества – содержит современное понимание фактов, событий, отношений между людьми, а также прежде достигнутые смыслы (установления, мифы, идеи). Медиа-сфера постсекулярного общества трансформирует представление о реальности, в том числе придает новое значение институтам церкви и религии. Сопоставление медиа-сферы и отражаемой ею действительности обнаруживает факт «медийной церкви», которая принципиально не тождественна реальной, так как медиа-сфера предопределена характером функционирования прессы,
которая, по данным нашего исследования, все еще секулярная. Анализ российских СМИ по освещению эпатирующего панк-молебна группы Pussy Riot в Московском храме Христа Спасителя (21.02.2012) и связанных с ним событий показал противоречие в функционировании социального института церкви и ее виртуальной проекции. Изучение информационных процессов в медиа-сфере в связи с дискурсом о церкви и религии – эффективный метод изучения ее реальных прототипов в постсекулярном.

Камилла Нигматуллина
Вопросы религии в исследованиях массмедиа: методологические особенности

Методы исследования журналистики и массовых коммуникаций могут обогатить существующую методологическую парадигму религиоведческих исследований. Разговор о месте религии в современном обществе невозможен без пристального рассмотрения медиа сферы: каким образом религиозные ценности становятся частью публичной сферы, как выстраивают свои информационные политики различные религиозные институты, как медийная реальность влияет на религиозно - мировоззренческие представления аудитории. В западных исследованиях вопрос отношения Церкви и медиа рассматривается уже несколько десятилетий, в России же только намечаются пути междисциплинарных исследований. В докладе представлены примеры таких полевых исследований на российской эмпирической базе. Обосновывается и описывается новый подход к исследованию медиа сферы – ценностный метод анализа.

Natalya Korol Религиозность как объект современного украинского религиоведческого дискурса

В современном украинском религиоведении идёт процесс постепенной трансформации объекта исследований. На смену исследованиям истории религии и философского осмысления религиозного феномена приходят междисциплинарные исследования религиозности как понятия, трактуемого различным образом. Религиозность интерпретируется на основе различных методологических подходов: в рамках упомянутого выше философского осмысления (например, в публикациях Л. Филипович, В. Еленського) и – преимущественно – в контексте социологических исследований, проводимых В. Паращевиным, Н. Дудар – с активным использованием эмпирических методов.

Session IX

Uzi Rebhun Assimilation in American Life. An Empirical Assessment of Milton Gordon's Multidimensional Theory

Perhaps no other concept has been more consequential in the history of American sociology in general, and in that of American ethnicity in particular, than "assimilation". Despite being a contested idea, it has been continuously useful if not indispensible as a point of departure for all scholarly assessments of immigrant adaptation. The vitality and ramifications of the assimilation perspective are associated with the replenishing of the immigrant stock and the maturing of descendents of earlier waves of immigrants, evoking reflections on ethnic boundaries and inter-group relations.

Against this background, 2014 will mark the jubilee of the publication of Milton Gordon's monumental work Assimilation in American Life. No sooner than it was published, this book became a guide for much of the subsequent research on immigration and minority adaptation in the United States. It has also had a major influence on students of ethnicity in other Western societies. A major theoretical contribution of Gordon's work is his view on the interrelated stages of assimilation, calling attention to different complementary dimensions of the assimilation process.

As we approach this special anniversary of Gordon's book, the proposed paper shall empirically assess the synthesis and interdependence of the various dimensions of assimilation that he proposed. I focus on one small but salient minority - American Jews – to show how structural assimilation is associated with other dimensions of assimilation: marital, identification, and behavior reception. Findings from multivariate analyses suggest that structural assimilation encourages Jews to marry non-Jews. Such a marriage composition has become a major determinant of identificational assimilation, with non-Jewish social relationships having important if somewhat weaker association with group identification. Social and economic attainments are moderate factors of identificationalbehavior that may sometimes strengthen, rather than weaken, religioethnic identification. The various components of structural assimilation are not significant for reception assimilation.

The findings are discussed in relation to the functionalism concept, in connection with the more recent literature on immigration and assimilation, and in view of the changing social context of America in second half of the twentieth century from the dominance of the melting pot ethos to cultural pluralism.

Marcin Rzepka Redefining the culture, reimaging the Self: Iranian converts to Christianity in the Pahlavi Period

The Pahlavi Period (1925-1979), abounded with so many different  attempts  – civil, political, religious - to define, re-define, create or re-create an Iranian identity, is exceptional in the whole Iranian history. The study of conversions to Christianity in that period constitutes part of the question on the self-categorizing strategies in Iran, the religious context, and finally, the problem of re-imaging or re-inventing the Self within the frame of the dramatic social, religious and cultural changes faced by the converts. The contextual and processual approach adopted for this research may help to estimate how the Iranian cultural values are preserved by the converts and how they reconstruct their identity after the religious conversion.

Roman Poplavsky Multidimensional approach to the study of religiosity: some reflections on an inquiry of Pentecostal churches in Russia

R. Bellah and P. Berger distinguish special characteristics of modern religion: an individual has an infinite number of possible attitudes to the world, therefore, manifestations of his/her religiosity are also infinitely diverse. Still some contemporary researchers don't consider this diversity. The multi-dimensional approach to the study of religiosity takes it into account and is based on the complex nature of religion and the analysis of religiosity at the individual, group and social levels; the complex nature of religiosity and its analysis on the level of behaviour, knowledge and emotions; the individual approach to the study of a certain religious movement; the diversity of religious manifestations in the frame of a certain religious movement or even a particular religious community; the multiplicity of sources of religiosity; the usage of different methods. The use of this approach will be shown on the example of an inquiry in Pentecostal communities in Russia (2011-2012).

Małgorzata Zawiła "Smoleńsk Religion". Between popular and civil religion


A set of practices, and beliefs that has emerged in Poland referring to the flight crash in Smoleńsk in 2010 is often called "Smoleńsk Religion". In the presentation I analyze the phenomenon with reference to the two sociological concepts of religion, that is popular religion (everyday, lived), and civil religion.

Session X – Guest Lecture

Hans Gerald Hoedl Material Religion: Aesthetic and Semiotic Approaches to the Study of Ritual.

In 1988, German scholars Hubert Cancik and Hubert Mohr wrote a programmatic article in the "HandbuchReligionswissenschaftlicherGrundbegriffe" [Handbook of key-concepts in the study of religion], on a new field of study which had to be established: "Aesthetics of Religion". The authors' main concern was not to foster the study of religious arts or artefacts or to promote investigation into ideas of the beautiful and the sublime within the field of religions. Rather, they took "aesthetics" in a very basic and broad sense, aiming at the sensual part in knowledge, in the framework of a culturalist approach. Their main concern is with the way that the senses and the body are formed by a given cultural system through stimulation, restriction and selection. This approach is twofold; on the one hand, it involves comparative studies of the attitude of various religious traditions towards the body, the senses and perception. On the other hand, this way of looking at religion brings with it a reflection on the use of "signs" and "symbolic acts" within religion. In my paper I will focus on the latter topic, developing core elements of a semiotic approach in the study of ritual.

Session XI

Joanna Malita Far-Eastern Dragons – between mythology and everyday life.

Unlike the Western dragon, a dangerous, fire-breathing beast, its Far-Eastern benevolent cousin resides in water and is far more significant in both religion and culture. It protects shrines and temples, serves various deities and controls the weather. Even nowadays dragons remain a significant element of religion and culture and play an important part in everyday life of people of the Far East. Basing on research conducted by the author for her Master of Arts thesis, the paper examines the meaning and function of this mythological creature in everyday life and popular culture of China, Japan and Tibet. Interviews with Tibetan students, held in December 2012 and February 2013, have provided the unique opportunity for revealing the major aspects of dragon figure in everyday life both in China and Tibet Autonomous Region. The paper analyses the mythological dragon stories and compares them with present perception of a dragon.

Matylda Ciołkosz An introduction to the study of the Indian concept of purua within the cognitive paradigm

The objective of the presentation is to propose the application of the findings of the cognitive science of religion to the study of the concept of puruṣa in Indian thought. The historical development of the concept shall be discussed, beginning from the Ṛgveda, through the Upaniṣad and the classical Sāṃkhya-Yoga. The presented models shall then be juxtaposed with the findings S. E. Guthrie, P. Boyer and J. L. Barrett regarding the formation of religious concepts. The discrepancies between the Indian model and the postulated cognitive model shall be pointed out. A possible development of the cognitive approach shall be proposed, taking for account the role of introspection and the experience of self-consciousness in the formation of the religious concepts of the transcendent/immanent absolute consciousness. The postulates of, i.a., D. C. Dennett, P. Gärdenfors and N. Humphrey shall be employed to formulate a hypothesis concerning the origin of the concept of transcendence.

Adam Anczyk The Voice of Druidry Today

Contemporary Druidry is – next to Wicca – one of the most popular denominations within the Neopagan community. As a movement, it has many faces, from religious, church-like organizations found in the USA (ÁrnDraíochtFéin), to the groups like the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, devoted to practicing Druidry as "a valuable and inspiring spirituality". Amongst its followers and people inspired by the movement, one can find druids that are Pagans, but also Christian druids, Buddhist druids, Atheist druids, etc. The question is, what makes Druidry so popular and attractive to people with diverse beliefs concerning the nature of the sacred? In the presentation, based on the biographical research about founders and leaders of two main Druidic groups, as well as on fifteen narrative interviews with people who sympathize with Druidry, the Author will propose some possible answers for this question. The presentation is based on the Author's research project, funded by the National Science Centre in Poland, 2011/01/N/HS1/02667

Session XII

Andrzej Molenda Specyfika pracy z pacjentami z nerwicą eklezjogenną

Od lat pięćdziesiątych ubiegłego wieku opisywane jest zjawisko nerwic eklezjogennych. Te trudno leczące się nerwice dostarczają duszpasterzom i psychoterapeutą wielu problemów. To w ich kontekście mówi się o toksycznej religijności, „zatruciu Bogiem", zniewoleniu religijnością, negatywnej roli Kościoła i niewłaściwej edukacji religijnej. Każde z tych zjawisk wywołuje wiele kontrowersji i wymaga pogłębionego spojrzenia. Według Harka terapia nerwic eklezjogennych należy do najtrudniejszych w zakresie nerwic. Występuję tam specyficzne dla tej grupy pacjentów problemy, takie jak brak zauważenia problemu zniewolenia religijnością (zwykle widzi to otoczenie), trudność z wejściem w rolę pacjenta, uznawanie tylko autorytetów religijnych, odrzucanie terapeuty jako nie dość wierzącego, niechęć do rozwiązywania swoich problemów na drodze „świeckiej", traktowanie terapii jako zdrady Boga, bogactwo religijnych identyfikacji itd. Referat poruszy najciekawsze problemy opisywane przez badaczy zajmujących się problemem nerwic eklezjogennych oraz wnioski z badań i pracy własnej z pacjentami.

Stanisław Radoń Uważność jako neuro-psycho-biologiczna próba zdefiniowania fenomenu duchowości

Medytacyjne praktyki oparte o uważność są podgrupą praktyk medytacji, które współcześnie przykuwają uwagę bardzo wielu osób (ponad 2000 publikacji). Współczesna psychologia i psychiatria zaadoptowały tradycyjną praktykę uważności i z powodzeniem przystosowały do potrzeb klinicznych (w USA stosuje się ją w 250 ośrodkach). Prowadzi się neurobiologiczne badania eksplorujące funkcjonowania mózgu podczas medytacji. W oparciu o liczne badania opracowano interesujące neuro-psycho-biologiczne modele. Na gruncie stworzonych modeli oraz wyników badań próbuje się odkrywać i wyjaśniać powiązań pomiędzy mózgiem a umysłem (mind-body problem). W swoich badaniach nauki neurologiczne i psychologiczne nie zwracają dostatecznej uwagi na to, czym medytacja tak naprawdę jest, jakie są jej historyczno-kulturowe źródła, jakie są jej filozoficzno-teologiczne uwarunkowania i jak przebiegała jej historyczna ewolucja. Jedynie połączenie różnych perspektyw rozumienia medytacji może zaowocować z korzyścią zarówno kontemplacyjnych tradycji, jak i nowoczesnej kognitywistyki.

Integracja tradycyjnej ontologii, fenomenologicznej perspektywy (badania idiograficzne) i neuro-psycho-biologicznych odkryć (badania nomograficzne) umożliwi stworzenie bardziej wszechstronnych modeli umysłu, co stworzy wspólny grunt dialogu nauki oraz kontemplacyjnych tradycji.

Elżbieta Przybył-Sadowska Kapitał cierpienia – kapitał łaski. Religijne podstawy wspólnoty Lasek

Jedną z podstawowych kategorii, która legła u podstaw tworzenia się wspólnoty w podwarszawskich Laskach (w zakładzie dla niewidomych prowadzonym przez Towarzystwo Opieki nad Ociemniałymi) jest koncepcja cierpienia rozumianego jako swoisty kapitał, z którego wspólnota czerpie siłę do dalszego rozwoju. Odpowiedzią na odpowiednio przeżywane cierpienie ma być bowiem, w tej koncepcji, łaska zsyłana przez Boga. Choć w tekstach założycieli wspólnoty nie ma mowy o mechanicznej wymianie cierpienia na łaskę, związek między tymi dwoma elementami jest bardzo wyraźny i przypomina dalekowschodnią koncepcję karmy.

Session XIII

Jakub Sadowski Listy pasterskie Prymasów i Episkopatu Polski wobec oficjalnego języka władzy politycznej (1945-1956)

W pierwszych latach państwowości Polski po II wojnie światowej (1945-1956) w języku kultury oficjalnej panuje początkowo sytuacja ograniczonego pluralizmu, coraz bardziej zawężanego przez monopolistyczne praktyki języka obozu PPR, później zaś - sytuacja totalitarna, gdy cały dyskurs oficjalny podporządkowany jest logice mitologicznego języka komunikacji między obozem rządzącym (już PZPR) a uczestnikami kultury oficjalnej. W swoim wystąpieniu, bazując na materiale listów pasterskich episkopatu oraz prymasów Polski, analizuję reakcję oficjalnego języka Kościoła katolickiego na praktyki językowe kultury totalitarnej. Poddany analizie materiał pozwala zrekonstruować całe instrumentarium praktyk językowych stosowanych w manifestach religijnych, światopoglądowych i politycznych Kościoła – od mowy ezopowej, poprzez formalne bądź strukturalne zapożyczenia z języka totalitarnego, po formy językowej konfrontacji.  Warto zwrócić uwagę, iż okres ograniczonego pluralizmu zbiega się w czasie z pełnieniem godności prymasa przez kard. Augusta Hlonda, okres totalitarny zaś przypada na prymasostwo kard. Stefana Wyszyńskiego, co stanowi jedną z przyczyn odmienności językowej listów pasterskich sygnowanych przez obu hierarchów.

Tomasz Piasecki Językowe implikacje elementów religijnych w ezoteryce

W potocznej wizji świata elementy religii i ezoteryki są unifikowane w ogólnej kategorii duchowości. Obserwuje się procesy głębokiego przenikania się językowych wymiarów obu tych wymiarów kultury. Konwergencja ta ma swoje konsekwencje w budowaniu stereotypowej warstwy pojęć „ezoteryka", „religia" i „duchowość". Podstawowym celem przeprowadzonych eksploracji było ustalenie językowych wykładników wprowadzania do tekstów ezoterycznych elementów odwołujących się bezpośrednio do sfery religii. W dalszej kolejności badanie miało na celu wykazanie motywacji procesu konwergencji i identyfikację funkcji komunikacyjnych i kulturowych realizowanych przez elementy sfery pojęciowej religii w dyskursie ezoterycznym. Badaniem objęto narzędzia dywinacyjne i dedykowane im podręczniki. W szczególności skupiono się na podręcznikach tarota i run. Wyekstrahowano z nich materiał językowy aktywizujący sferę religijną (określenia sacrum, językowe wartościowanie zachowań w odwołaniu do norm moralnych motywowanych religijnie, opis kultu, dydaktykę doktryny religijnej). Zgromadzony jednostki opisano w scenariuszu komunikacyjnym podręcznika i narzędzia wróżbiarskiego.

Grzegorz Wiończyk Kto mówi? Pytanie o narracje religijne w kontekście pluralizmu

Przyjęcie określonej narracji, w której punktem odniesienia staje się pewna wyróżniona religia może mieć pozakonfesyjne przyczyny. Z takim przypadkiem mamy do czynienia w teorii mimetyczno-ofiarniczej francuskiego antropologa R. Girarda. Wskazuje on na wyjątkowość chrześcijaństwa, które według niego objawiło (poinformowało) mechanizm kozła ofiarnego, uwalniając tym samym ofiarę z nałożonej na nią przez archaiczne religie odpowiedzialności za trawiący wspólnotę kryzys mimetyczny (odróżnorodnienia). Należy zaznaczyć, że Girard rozmija się w swej teorii z nauką katolicką, która uznaje objawieniowy charakter wszystkich religii. Inne przykłady to przyjęcie racjonalności za warunek wystarczający prawdziwości (np. na gruncie polskim Judycki, Wojtysiak). Te dwa konkretne przypadki ukazują dobitnie, że problem przyjęcia narracji konkretnej religii nie jest jedynie problemem konfesyjności, ale stanowi ważne zagadnienie metodologiczne.

Session XIV

Joachim Kowalski Possession – psychiatric approach

The main subject of a presentation is a description of a phenomenon of possession treated as a psychiatric disorder, specifically a dissociative one. The phenomenon of possession understood as a disorder outreaches the frames of behavioural and religious practices accepted by culture. Symptoms of possession as a disorder will be compared with characteristics of possession as a religious phenomenon. Clinical manifestation of the disorder will be presented and discussed, as well as case studies of possession-disorder found in peer-reviewed publications and possession-religious phenomenon found in religious literature will be compared. Moreover, cultural differences of the possession-dissociative disorder will be discussed.

Zofia Stopniak-Freda, Daniel Pankowski, Joachim Kowalski Religious delusions in case of schizophrenic psychoses

Delusions are defined as false belief that originates from mental illness. Their characteristics are: a) not befitting into reality b) coexisting with other psychopathological symptoms c) strong feeling about experience's reality d) intractability to change e) individualistic and socially preclusive content.

The aim of the presentation is to depict religious delusions as a part of religious beliefs "continuum". Special attention will be paid to cognitive models, cultural aspects and clinical consequences connected with symptoms such as self-mutilation, lower level of social functioning and worse response to psychiatric treatment in area of psychopathological symptoms.

Daniel Pankowski, Joachim Kowalski  Does religiosity can be a compulsion? Connection between faith and obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by presence of obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, which are considered by patients as unwanted and involuntary. They are patients' source of anxiety and tension, the attempts on withstanding them lead only to increase in their intensity. Type of obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by the presence of obsessions and compulsions of religious nature, focusing mostly on sinfulness and being immoral, can be found in psychiatric literature as "scrupulosity". Depending on culture its prevalence rate in population of people with OCD varies from 10 to 60%. The aim of the presentation is to depict the religious OCD phenomenon in reference to clinical characteristics and to interpret it on culture and social background.

Session XV – Guest Lecture

Ireneusz Ziemiński Philosophy of Religion as a Way to Scepticism

The paper presents philosophy of religion as a specific branch of religious studies. The main philosophical problems of religion are: the possibility of defining religion, the truthful-ness of religion, the nature of God (as the main object of religious worship), the existence of God and the rationality (or irrationality) of religious behavior. In every problem you can be a sceptic, because we have no  rational method guaranteeing the successful definition of religion (every definition is subjective and either too narrow or too large). Unfortunately, we are not able to define God (or Holiness) as the object of religion; every definition is only partial or incoherent. Therefore, we do not have any proof of God's existence or nonexistence and – because of this – we could not say, neither that religious behavior (especially – which religious behavior) is rational or irrational. This means, that philosophy of religion, which tries to resolve the essential problem of religion, is the best way to religious scepticism.