Czech Modernity as Secular Modernity
|Original title:||Czech Modernity as Secular Modernity|
|Type:||Appeared in Conference without Proceedings|
|Keywords:||religion, Catholicism, secularity, national identity, conflict|
When social scientists speak about religion in modern Europe, they tend to view its Western (or North-Western) part as more secular/secularized than its (Central-)Eastern part. Especially in the post-1989 era, Central and Eastern Europe have often been dealt within the context of religious revival after almost half of the century of Communist rule with its overt atheist and antireligious policy. However, in the same manner as some scholars warn against too homogenizing and/or generalizing tendencies in the sociological study of religion in Western Europe, we need to be prepared for recognizing different patterns in Central/Eastern European region too. The case of the Czech Republic might be an instructive one in this respect. As quantitative empirical data from international comparative surveys repeatedly show, Czech Republic is among the most secular societies in Europe. Its religious profile is very similar to those of France, the Netherlands or Scandinavian countries. What does this fact sociologically mean? What social factors lie behind it? Is it sufficient to look for a proper explanation in classical modernization theories? Or shall we rather take into account some specific historical and cultural circumstances? And is there something like “Czech modernity” as a special (sub)type of modernity in the sense of Eisenstadt’s “multiple modernities”? In my paper, I would like to suggest how the conceptual framework of multiple secularities elaborated by a German sociologist Monika Wohlrab-Sahr can help us in our efforts to understand the Czech case.