Articles

This section of website presents texts regarding religion and new religious movements in Lithuania for our international readership.

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.

articles: 

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"":

articles: 

Legislation on Religion and the Challenge of Pluralism in Lithuania

by Donatas Glodenis

This paper will focus on the model of State-Church relations in Lithuania, paying special attention to the genesis of the model and the influence of the model of Church-State relations on Lithuania’s public discourse on religion, its mass media and public administration.

articles: 

Term "sect" as an expression of repressive social consciousness

by Arūnas Peškaitis OFM

The connotations of the term "sect" have always been negative. In societies with strong traditional religiosity this term always means marginalization and heresy. In secularized societies this term has been presented as neutral, but it's sociological definitions betray that the term has not escaped a value load: a "sect" is described as a group, which denies the values of liberalism. The current attempts to define a sect as a destructive religious group also lead to the formation of a-priori position towards such groups, based on near of minorities. The repudiation of the term "sect" in sociological discourse would initiate processes that could gradually lead to a more tolerant position of social consciousness that would finally influence the vocabulary used by the media in religion discourse.

The theme of "Sects" is widely discussed and well heard in Lithuania. But it is a question, if it is really being "discussed" – one can easily doubt that since it is difficult to classify as "discussion" a conversation on a subject with no attempt to define what the subject is.

articles: 

Religious Life in the Post-Secular Space: the Case of Visaginas City in Lithuania

by Milda Ališauskienė

This paper represents the research about the religious life and its peculiarities in the city of Visaginas in Lithuania that was done in 2001. The author of this research seeks to show the life of religious communities of this city and for this reason personal observations and interviews with the members of religious communities of Visaginas were invoked.

articles: 

Pages