• Fundamentalism in the Light of Selected Psychological Concepts

    The aim of the article is to present the psychological roots of fundamentalism, which can be found in each type of the phenomenon, and also an attempt to show fundamentalism, as the configuration of certain personality traits. As the basis for such an interpretation of fundamentalism, serve the psychological approach, which relate to the personality, cognitive style, refer to the prejudices, as well as to the concept of authoritarian personality and its constitutive characteristics. Article raised the question of so–called “fundamentalist personality” on the basis of diversity of manifestations of this phenomenon and its correlation with the concepts of authoritarianism and dogmatism. Author also addresses psychological category of attitude, which is the starting point in the discussion of the phenomena, such as fundamentalism or nationalism. In the background of considerations is an attempt to organize knowledge on fundamentalism, taking into account the historical roots of the phenomenon, and also, as a complementary reflection, a legitimacy of identifying fundamentalism with terrorism. 

  • The Regulatory Function of Religion in Social Control. Enlightenment Concepts

    Andrzej Wierciński (1930–2003) wrote that the period Enlightenment (he did not use the term, however) saw the separation of philosophy and religion as a consequence of the development of empirical sciences, mathematics and logic: The rationalised philosophical world-model was advanced to the rank of an ICS [Ideological Control Subsystem]. Its institutional carriers were bourgeois groups and political parties which caused the first breakdown in the feudal system during the French and American Revolution. Mechanicism was therefore to replace animism as a principal generator of the world-view. Wierciński’s approach does not contradict the perspective generally accepted by historians. Probably never before had the fight against revealed religions, including Roman Catholicism, been so intense. The best example is the attitude of Enlightenment authors towards Catholicism and church institutions.

  • Human rights in the teachings and practices of Benedict XVI

    Joseph Ratzinger, chosen for the See of Peter 19 April 2005, after three years of papal ministry, may be, in my opinion, considered a worthy continuator of John Paul’s II mission, the latter described as the Human Rights Pope due to his activities in the field. The main goal of this essay is to analyze Benedict XVI’s most characteristic practices and texts, which directly refer to the issue of human rights, especially in the context of respect for and protection of human rights. The next aim is to show the contexts in which John Paul II’s great friend invokes or refers to the legacy of his eminent predecessor and to demonstrate the differences between John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s perception of the significance of human rights in the lives of contemporary societies.

  • Religion and Democracy: Points of Agreement, Points of Controversy

    Introductorily, it should be observed that the discussed problem’s significance is increasingly pressing as our interest drifts towards societies dominated by great, universalizing religions Islam being only one of them. From the above, a question arises of whether the notions of religion and democracy, as mentioned in the title, are reconcilable within a single order in the first place. In his deliberations, Bohdan Chwedeńczyk inclines to the view that three types of relations may be distinguished in this respect: religion favours democracy; is indifferent to democracy; or is harmful to democracy. The discussion of the above opinion has, respectively, developed threefold. In one point of view, religion is by nature contradictory to the democratic order, it is in a sense its direct opposite. In other words, we face a choice of opting either for religion or democracy. Supporters of an alternative viewpoint claim that in the long run, a democratic system is not viable without the basis of notions such as religion, and therefore religion does play a vital part in the social order. It serves members of the public by satisfying those of their needs that do not belong to the scope of duties performed by the state and its institutions. Finally, the third approach basically acknowledges the fact that no definitive claims can be made as to the possibility of agreement between religion and democracy. I must admit that the latter is closest to my personal stance in this respect. Naturally, through careful selection of examples, arguments to support the first or the second of the mentioned opinions can be easily produced. There have been numerous examples of academic and journalistic articles advocating one of the clear-cut standpoints, which seem not to leave much room for discussion. However, the issue becomes far more multifarious when taking into account the complexity of religious and political issues analysed in both theoretical and practical perspective.

  • Religious Fundamentalism: Theorethical Problems

    The following article will attempt to present characteristics of religious fundamentalism. The task requires addressing terminological and methodological issues, which seem to constitute the weakest link in the overall research of the phenomenon. Even a cursory analysis of the available data points to the fact, that comparative studies are in minority, while an overwhelming majority of all research focuses on particular instances of fundamentalism, most commonly within one speci€c religion. ree preliminary observations can be made. Firstly, usually the case is that of either methodological maximalism or minimalism. The work edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby Fundamentalisms Observed, signi€cant as it was, can serve as a valid example of maximalist approach. The phenomenon discussed therein is viewed in the broad perspective, thus it becomes almost synonymous to traditionalism, nationalism, orthodoxy or communalism.

  • Religious and Political Ritualism

  • Religious Communities as Interest Groups

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