Gytis Tereikis: "The damage, that has not been done"

Gytis TereikisNew Religions Research and Information Center (NRTIC) together with the Lithuanian Journalists' Union (LJU) is implementing the project "Religious diversity awareness and dissemination of Lithuania. Project goal - to promote the values ​​of democracy and human rights as well as the dissemination of knowledge about religious diversity in the field of cooperation with the media and providing information to the public in Lithuania.

We interwieved Gytis Tereikis, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses religious community, in order to understand what benefits this group received from our Project activities. This community was chosen because during the project a group of journalists got a chance to visit Jehovah's Witnesses office  in Kaunas, to look around and a have a chat with members.

Briefly introduce your community, please.

Jehovah's Witnesses is a Christian community guided by the Bible teachings.

2014 ISORECEA conference in Kaunas – call for papers

Old Town of KaunasThe International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA) in cooperation with the Vytautas Magnus University and the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions is organizing a conference “RELIGIOUS DIVERSIFICATION WORLDWIDE AND IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE”.

The conference will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, April 24-27, 2014. The deadline for paper proposals is 15 November 2013.

Interview with Eileen Barker about Sociology and New Religious Movements

Eileen BarkerAt the beginning of May, 2012 prof. emeritus Eileen Barker from London School of Economics and Political Science visited Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas to read lectures. Eileen Barker read lectures "Brainwashing, mind control, recruting or conversion? The questions of influence and/or free will upon joining "Cults"" and "Sociological research methods". Milda Ališauskienė interviewed Eileen Barker on May 6th in the airport, while waiting for bording the plane. Eileen Barker reflected on sociology, reductionism, relationship between State and Church, new religious movements and other themes.

Q: How can religion and society benefit from the Sociology of Religion?

A: There are a number of ways. Sociology of religion is a subset of Sociology discipline, and Sociology is about how individuals affect and are affected by the society, society being the traction between individuals. Sociology of religion is about trying to find, as objectively as possible, who believes what, and under what circumstances, and what the consequences are of those beliefs. So that is fairly wide, and we tend to define religion very widely, to include what other people call quasi-religions or pseudo-religions, and even non-religions, like atheism, which contains some very strong beliefs. Some people would include ideologies as well.

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Videos of lectures of Prof. Eileen Barker at Vytautas Magnus University available online

At the beginning of May, 2012 prof. emeritus Eileen Barker from London School of Economics and Political Science visited Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and read lectures "Brainwashing, mind control, recruting or conversion? The questions of influence and/or free will upon joining "Cults"" and "Sociological research methods".

These lectures are made available online by Vytautas Magnus University.

Lecture "Brainwashing, mind control, recruting or conversion? The questions of influence and/or free will upon joining "Cults"":

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Last bastions of paganism tell all

by Anne Gallien ("Baltic Times," March 15, 2006)

Vilnius, Lithuania - Christianity took a long time to get to Lithuania. It wasn’t officially adopted until the 14th century. And once it got here, it suffered quite a bit, and then again much later during the Soviet regime. But though it may be dominant, it still hasn’t fully replaced the belief system Lithuania started off with, as you can tell just by taking a look at Vilnius Romuva, a community of 30 self-identified pagans.

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