Politics and Religion in Central and Eastern Europe: Traditions and Transitions

By William H. Swatos Jr | Go to book overview
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Traditions and Transitions: Reflections on the Problems and Prospects for Religions in Eastern and Central Europe

Roberto Cipriani

Religion, politics, and society constitute a triad of recurring themes in sociological analysis -- all the more when epoch-making changes, such as the decisive ones that marked the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s in Eastern and Central Europe, occur. The interest of scholars in this respect is such that nowadays there is no international conference without an ad hoc slot for the discussion of these events and no journal that can afford to neglect the impact of these problematics.

Philip Walters says in an editorial in Religion, State and Society, a quarterly publication "devoted to issues of church, state and society in the former communist countries":

One consequence of communist power in the various countries of Central and Eastern Europe has been that certain distinctive patterns of behavior and certain types of self-image have established themselves both within the religious communities in particular and also more generally within society. These patterns and images are, in important ways, different from those established within Western societies, and the identification of the differences and the overcoming of the consequences of ingrained patterns of behavior on both sides is going to be part of the agenda for future debate. ( 1992: 3)

However, there are other crucial aspects to be considered.

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