ZjR - Zeitschrift für junge Religionswissenschaft
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Führding, Steffen: Culture Critic oder Caretaker? Religionswissenschaft und ihre
Funktion für die Gesellschaft. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Russell T.