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7102 -- WUNDER, EDGAR

Religion in der postkonfessionellen Gesellschaft. Ein Beitrag zur sozialwissenschaftlichen Theorieentwicklung in der Religionsgeographie
(Sozialgeographische Bibliothek 5)
Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag 2005
366 pp., Euro 56,-; ISBN 3-515-08772-9
Keywords: geography of religions, post-denominational religions, religion and postmodernity, space and religion, secularization, individual and religion

Religion in post-confessional society. A contribution to the development of social-scientific theoryin the geography of religions
There is a complex process of transformation of religion in modern societies towards "post-denominational society" here, religion is no longer equal to denomination. This complex change has a spatial dimension also, which is here dealt with from a perspective of the geography of religion. This kind of analysis can contribute to test competing theoretical models which try to explain this kind of religious change. So the author uses and combines theoretical concepts from geography, sociology, and comparative religion to develop them further for the foundation of a paradigm of a geography of religion of modern societies. So Wunder adresses the questions of definition (what is a religion), present changes (what happens to religions in modernity: secularization, critique of postmodern semantics, secondary processes like autonomization, individualization, bricolage, generalization, pluralism.., phenomena of resulting erosion and new emerging social forms of religion. The next chapter is a critique of the secularization paradigm followed by the "application" of how the geography of religions of post-denominational societies should proceed. Here, space is qualified into: ontological, naturalized, psychic, social interaction, and container spaces. Then, questions of the position of geography vis-à-vis the other disciplines dealing with the topic is discussed, and also questions of the history of science and research, and the last chapter has an application to test hypoheses astrology as an implicit, non-institutionalized form of religion.

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