Research Approaches in the Study of Religion
Issue: 13 (The thirth issue)
Despite development of secular ideas and concepts in the Western world, we can observe increasing interest in the study of religion. However, this popularity of the study of religion and different research approaches has caused that in some sense scholars that were studying religion came to a dead point. Here I show that the most optimal research approach in the study of religion is pluralistic, integral paradigm which connects old traditional methods with naturalistic, cognitive and sometimes experimental approach.
Poland: A Dark Side of Church Cultural Policy
Issue: 16 (The sixteenth issue)
The cultural policy of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland is incorporated into state-run cultural policies. The organs of public authority enforce the objectives of Church regardless of Church’s actual ability to influence the society. It should be pointed out that the secularization of religion in Poland is frequently misinterpreted and usually equated with its deprivatization. It is worth mentioning that Catholicism is the dominant religion of the country and the Roman Catholic Church has hold a special position in Poland and play a major role in the country’s social and political life. In practice, however, Polish society appears to be religiously indifferent. This paper proves that the official, state-run cultural policy in Poland is based on favoritism of the Roman Catholic Church, regardless of Church’s actual ability to wield influence on society. Thus, there is a variety of implicit and explicit cultural policies implemented by the authorities to support Church. This work also aims at addressing the question of social attitudes to women, especially the one concerning the UN and EU law embracing women’s rights, until recently still not implemented in Poland. This paper further explores some peculiarities of this topic as an example of a specific outcome of Church cultural policy and its impact on both the past and present-day society.
Wars and Conflicts are Only Randomly Connected with Religion and Religious Beliefs. An Outline of Historical, Cognitive, and Evo
Issue: 18 (The eighteenth issue)
Many scholars that study of religion and religious beliefs find that they affect
behavioral patterns. Some of them suggest that this impact is morally wrong
because religion and religious beliefs can cause aggression, conflicts, and wars.
However, it seems that this topic is more complicated and complex. Here I
show that religion and religious beliefs can affect mentioned above morally
wrong patterns only in some particular cases. Usually they do not do it. Here I
show an outline of philosophical historical approach that was critically oriented
against religion and that accused it about conflicts and wars. Then I briefly
discuss two current scientific research approaches to the study of religion,
cognitive and evolutionary. They falsify these critically oriented philosophers
because they treat connection between religious beliefs and conflicts as random
and necessary. The core idea of this paper assumes that religious beliefs do not
affect aggression and wars directly. They can sometimes strengthen or weaken
some biological mechanisms that then can be used to compete by conflicts or
by not-violent inter-group competition.
Reliability and Adaptability of Religious Beliefs in the Light of Cognitive Science of Religion
Issue: 20 (The twentieth issue)
Cognitive approach towards the study of religion is a good and promising way. However, I think that this approach is too narrow and it would be better to use some basic concepts of CSR as a starting point for further, not cognitive explanation of religious. I suppose that religious beliefs should be explained also by their pragmatic functions because they were probably always associated with some pragmatic purposes at the group or at the individual levels. To develop further this last approach, the good explanatory way is the evolutionary study of religion.