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Erschriebene Religion : die Vielfalt der Stimmen in den Religionserzählungen des modernen Durchbruchs

Johannsen, Dirk. (2013) Erschriebene Religion : die Vielfalt der Stimmen in den Religionserzählungen des modernen Durchbruchs. In: Alternative voices : a plurality approach for religious studies : essays in honor of Ulrich Berner. Göttingen, pp. 36-55.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6165170

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Abstract

The article provides a case study on the impact of literary tendencies on the conception of religion. In the nineteenth century, “religion” became a critical term in various academic disciplines, with different concepts of religion emphasizing its subjective-emotional character (in the line of German Protestantism), its social impact (in the line of French sociological schools), its cognitive function (in the line of the evolutionists in Great Britain), and—as a general tendency—its historical character. In the Scandinavian intellectual scene, intensely monitoring the academic developments in the larger countries, syntheses between these approaches and domains attributed to religion were attempted relatively early on. In the study of the European history of religion, it had long been emphasized that this “scientification” of the concept of religion had an eminent impact on the religious field, leading to new forms of spirituality, religious identities, as well as interreligious dialogue and discourse—which, in turn, influenced academia. The main thesis of this article is that popular literature served as an important catalyst in these dynamics. By concretizing abstract theories of religion in the form of narratives, different types of religious behavior, experiences, and social functions were connected with specific literary characters and plots. The poetic constraints and possibilities of the narrative genres thus, in turn, re-shaped the conception of religion. The Scandinavian “modern breakthrough,” as it had been declared by Georg Brandes in the 1870s, identified “religion” as one of the basic “problems” to be debated in contemporary literature. In the late 1870s and the 1880s, both Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Arne Garborg were intensely involved in this debate, often misunderstood as a personal “religious crisis.” Their literary works document the development of a unique characteristic of the era. While the “voice of the 1870s and the 1880s, both Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Arne Garborg were intensely involved in this debate, often misunderstood as a personal “religious crisis.” Their literary works document thedevelopment of a unique characteristic of the era. While the “voice of the modern breakthrough” is distinct in their earlier works of this period, with enlightened, free-thinking protagonists standing opposed to a powerful and dogmatic Christian society, the focus soon shifts to a new problem area: what is meant by the term “religion” and which domain it belongs to. Influenced by literary naturalism and experimenting with new narrative techniques, the sociological perspective soon shifted to more psychological accounts. While historicizing religion and commenting oncontemporary theories of religion, the writers cultivated new modes of religious speech and identity. Detaching God from religion and suggesting it as a human phenomenon, they allowed for a re-evaluation of the concept of religion and prepared for new non-traditional forms of religiosity.
Faculties and Departments:01 Faculty of Theology > Fachbereich Religionswissenschaft > Doppelprofessur Religionswissenschaft (Mohn)
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Religionswissenschaft > Doppelprofessur Religionswissenschaft (Mohn)
UniBasel Contributors:Johannsen, Dirk
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISBN:3-525-54017-5 ; 978-3-525-54017-6 ; 978-3-647-54017-7 (ebk) ; 3-647-54017-X (ebk)
Series Name:Critical studies in religion/ Religionswissenschaft (CSRRW)
Issue Number:Vol. 4
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:25 Apr 2014 08:00
Deposited On:08 Nov 2013 08:29

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