Schröder, Ingo W. (2012). “Catholic Majority Societies and Religious Hegemony: Concepts and Comparisons” in Milda Alisauskiene and Ingo W. Schroeder (eds) Religious Diversity in Post-Soviet Society: Ethnographies of Catholic Hegemony and the New Pluralism in Lituania (Burlington, VT: Ashgate).
This chapter sets out to sketch a theoretical framework for the study of the religious environment of a society like Lithuania that is dominated by a single church. The emergent anthropology of Christianity has paid comparatively little attention to the political dimension of religious affiliation in general and Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant majority churches in particular. An earlier interest in majority-minority relations and politics of religious authority has been obliterated by a focus on meaning and culture. Only recently has the study of dominant churches and the specific societal ramifications of this dominance experienced a minor revival in the context of the resurgence of such institutions in Eastern Europe after the demise of socialism. This chapter hopes to make a contribution to this literature.