Public religions after socialism: redefining norms of difference

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Religion has come to assume quite a public presence in many parts of Eastern Europe. The instrumental use of clergy, religious sentiment and transcendent symbolism reflects the emergence of conditions in which religion is capable of playing an expedient role in processes of forging a new governing and moral order. At this critical juncture, when norms of gender, ethnicity, regionalism and language politics are being redefined, the ambient presence of religiosity makes political initiatives and political protest expressed in a religious idiom particularly effective. Religion has become a resource used to provide the moral justification for proposed norms of behaviour and to legitimate the legal regulations and coercive mechanisms to enforce them. In this way, religion is going public. This article analyses why and how religion assumes a public presence capable of steering the direction of political change and explains how this relates to the practices of everyday religiosity revealed in ethnography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalReligion, State and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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