Kołodziejska, Marta and Anna Neumaier. 2017. Between individualisation and tradition: transforming religious authority on German and Polish Christian online discussion forums,” Religion 47(2): 228-255
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to connect the debates on individualisation and mediatisation of religion and transformations of religious authority online on theoretical and empirical basis. The classical and contemporary concepts of individualisation of religion, rooted in the secularisation debate, will be connected with Campbell’s [2007. “Who’s Got the Power? Religious Authority and the Internet.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12 (3): 1043–1062] concept of four layers of religious authority online. The empirical material consists of a joint analysis of German Christian and Polish Catholic Internet forums. In a transnational comparison, the findings show similar tendencies of individualisation and emerging communities of choice, as well as a lasting significance of textual religious authorities, although different levels of authority are negotiated and emphasised to a varying extent. However, in both cases critique of the Church and religion usually emerges offline, and is then expressed online. While the forums do not have a subversive potential, they facilitate adopting a more independent, informed, and reflexive approach to religion.
Publisher’s Description: Old pilgrimage routes are attracting huge numbers of people. Religious or spiritual meanings are interwoven with socio-cultural and politico-strategic concerns and this book explores three such concerns of hot debate in Europe: religious identity construction in a changing European religious landscape; gender and sexual emancipation; and (trans)national identities in the context of migration and European unification. Through the explorations of such pilgrimages by a multidisciplinary range of international scholars, this book shows how the old routes of Europe are offering inspirational opportunities for making new journeys.
Abstract: Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity is without doubt one of the most dynamic and culturally significant contemporary religious phenomena. Not only is it the fastest-growing religious movement worldwide, but it has also permeated into the largest Christian tradition, Roman Catholicism, becoming a hallmark of what is known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR). In this article I discuss various aspects of CCR within the Catholic Church in Poland. First I describe briefly the history, structures and activities of Polish CCR and discuss controversies that surround it. Then I give a short account of my research in which I have focused on the narratives of life change offered by CCR members, interpreting this change in terms of religious conversion. Finally, I touch upon the issue of the internal diversity of contemporary Polish Catholicism, and show CCR’s spirituality, based on immediate personal contact with the sacred, as a noteworthy element of this phenomenon.