Seminar on New Age Was Held at Vytautas Magnus University

An interdisciplinary seminar “New Age as a Manifestation of Modern Religiosity” was held at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Kaunas on the 21st of November, 2005. The seminar was co organized by the Department of Sociology of VMU and New Religions Research and Information Centre, Vilnius.

An interdisciplinary seminar “New Age as a Manifestation of Modern Religiosity” was held at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Kaunas on the 21st of November, 2005. The seminar was co organized by the Department of Sociology of VMU and New Religions Research and Information Centre, Vilnius.

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Role of Religion in the Emergence of Civil Society in Lithuania

by Andrius Navickas

The religion has long been recognized as an important institution of civil society, significant to the regime for its support and promotion of the values important for political culture. Together with schools, families and a variety of political and other voluntary interest organizations, churches influence political and societal attitudes. On the other hand, there is no firm consensus – does religion promote or subvert civil society? In his famous book about Italy and social capital “Making Democracy Work” Robert Putnam states that the hierarchical structure of Catholic Church is rather alternative for civil society than one of its component. Though great french thinker Alexis de Tocquille in his classic work “Democracy in America” observed that religion played the essential role in American type of civil society. I value very much Robert Putnam books, but I think that in soviet Lithuania the Church was real agent of civil society. In the era of communist dictatorship, the Church was a teacher of lasting and destuctible values and the conscience of an enslaved society. The Catholic Church as the largest religious institution in Lithuania was the leader of opposition.

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Prevention of "sect" activities - a new priority in Lithuanian youth policy?

Vilnius. At the beginning of April the State Council for Youth Affairs announced a list of organizations whose youth oriented projects will be supported by the Council this year. Among the supported projects the greatest ammount, 28 000 LT (about 8300 EUR) was awarded to Lithuanian Soberness Fund to advance a project entitled "Sect activities prevention among youth", which was presented to the Council in a project category "Prevention of youth drug and other forms of addiction, criminal activities and psychological crises (suicide)".

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