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ZjR - Zeitschrift für junge Religionswissenschaft
ISSN 1862-5886 • Issue 01/2007:

Christoph Müller-Stoffels
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Jörg Albrecht
Religionswissenschaft und Ideologiekritik: Ein Problem der Vergangenheit oder eine aktuelle Aufgabe?
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This article deals with Kurt Rudolph?s concept of Ideologiekritik (critique of ideology) and the ideology-critical potential of the study of religions. It aims to point out the importance of Ideologiekritik in the contemporary study of religions. First, the paper explains Rudolph?s conception with particular attention to his understanding of the terms »ideology« and »religion« and their interrelation. The second part illustrates the historical and political context of Rudolph?s work on Ideologiekritik. Thereby, it is understood as a reaction to the outside attempts of ideologically absorbing the academic study of religions. The third part then distinguishes several topics of Ideologiekritik in the study of religions. On this basis, the paper discusses the legitimacy and necessity of ideology-critical reflection in the contemporary study of religions.

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Frederik Elwert
Das Kapital religiöser Gemeinschaften - Ideen zur Adaption neuerer Kapitaltheorien in der Religionswissenschaft
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In the social sciences, theories of intangible forms of capital have recently emerged. The idea of capital is extended and applied to non-material subjects such as society and culture. In this article, the concepts of »human capital«, »social capital« and »cultural capital« are summarised and differences between these theories are described. Afterwards, the applications of these concepts in the study of religions are discussed. Religious capital can either be seen as a distinct form of capital, or subsumed under the terms of social and/or cultural capital.

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Lida Froriep
Die Debatte um Neue Religiöse Bewegungen in der BRD - kirchliche Deutungsmuster und die Rolle der Religionswissenschaft
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In Germany the academic discipline Religionswissenschaft (study of religions) has not been invited to comment on the public issue of new religious movements (NRMs). Even though the study of religions could have competently contributed to the discussion by presenting impartial facts, its recognition during the vehement debate has been marginal. Thus, the discussion was mainly influenced by the Catholic and Protestant church, the media, and state authorities. However, considering how the debate was conducted, a certain consensus could be observed: The conclusion was predetermined, especially so byconvictions which seemed to be affected by religious affiliation.
For a long period of time, information about NRMs has mostly derived from Christian theologians. Even today, governmental authorities and the wider public regard publications by the Catholic and Protestant church as an important source of information about new religions. It is therefore to clarify how such a knowledge monopoly can arise in a society which basically considers itself as secular.
The role of Religionswissenschaft in the debate has been a complex one. A scholary approach in this field leads to the main topics concerning its social position and its self-understanding. Within this emotially charged debate, Religionswissenschaft finds itself challenged by conflicting interests: its desire to gain a heightened public recognition and the need to stress and keep its scientific character. This also leads us to the question of marginalisation and self-marginalisation of Religionswissenschaft.

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Alexander Nagel
Soziale Integration durch Religion?
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In the recent past there has been much discussion about the disintegrative and dissociative power of religion inspired by the debates on fundamentalism and terrorism. In contrast, this article examines the positive integrative capacity of religion. To this end, the concepts of religion and integration are operationalised by means of explorative factor analysis. On this foundation, different facets of the integrative capacity (dependent variable) of religion (independent variable) are analysed using multivariate regression statistics. In conclusion, no comprehensive impact of religion on social integration can be accounted for. However, certain social orientations determined by religion do have an impact on the acceptance of public institutions and on identification with society. Methodologically, quantitative correlation analysis proves to be a sensible amplification of the traditional inventory of the study of religions which is typically hermeneutical and empirical. However, severe restrictions such as the lack of relevant items and the ethnocentric biases of these items remain as a challenge.

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