الرئيسية Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion On Religion in Modern Society: Individual Consciousness, World View, Institution
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On Religion in Modern Society: Individual Consciousness, World View, Institution Author(s): Thomas Luckmann Source: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 1963), pp. 147-162 Published by: Wiley on behalf of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1385066 . Accessed: 12/11/2014 14:22 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. . Wiley and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ON RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY: INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS, WORLD VIEW, INSTITUTION* THOMAS LUCKMANN New SchoolforSocial Research, New YorkCity cial order. The question runs like a thread through classical sociological theory. It is interwoven with the theory of socialization, with role theory and the * This paperwas read to the Societyforthe theory of social change. It appears in the ScientificStudy of Religion on October 27, anthropological study of culture and per1962,in New York. ofsociology withthequestionstreated Mayer,chairmanofthedepartment I becameconcerned here in connectionwithresearchin parishso- in the GraduateFacultyof Politicaland Social ciology:"Four ProtestantParishesin Germany Science, New York. I offermy thanks to Ordinarius fuerSoziologie -A Study in the Sociologyof Religion,"in ArnoldBergstraesser, von und Wissen; schaftliche Politikin the University Social Research26:4 (1959) and "Vergleich and construcvier protestantischenKirchengemeindenin of Freiburgformanysuggestions neutschland"in D. Goldschmidt,F. Greiner tive criticismin preparationof the German PeterBerger,associate and H. Schelsky, eds.: Soziologie der Kirchen- manuscript.My friends gemeinde,Stuttgart,F. Enke, (1960) and a professorat the HartfordSeminaryFoundaTenbruckofthe Seminarfuer criticalreview of recent publicationsin the tionand Friedrich Politikund Soziologieat the zurReli- wissenschaftliche sociologyofreligion"NeuereSchriften gionssoziologie," in Koelner Zeitschriftfuer So- Universityof Freiburghave contributedto ziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 12:2 (1960). A my thinkingthroughtheirpublishedworkas firstEnglishdraft,"Notes on the case of the well as in discussionsover manyyears. The reader will recognizethe influenceof missingreligion,"was developedinto a longer essay, "Zum Problemder Religionin der mo- Emile Durkheimof whose broad theoretical I was made aware by AlbertSalodernen Gesellschaft:Institution,Person und significance Weltanschauung"in the seriesSoziologie,ed. mon. The readermay also noticea strainof thinkingto whichI was inRombach,Frei- phenomenological by Prof.ArnoldBergstraesser, troducedby the late AlfredSchutz. The inburg (in press Spring1963). of G. H. Mead Since this paper does not have the appa- fluenceof the social psychology ratus of footnotes and acknowledgementsandC. H. Cooleywillbe obviousto theAmerican appropriateto printedwork,the readermust reader. He may be less familiarwiththe work be referredto the publicationslisted above, of ArnoldGehlenand HelmutSchelsky. Gehand analysis especiallyto the essay mentionedlast. There len's theoryof institutionalization andbiblio- of the social psychologyof industrialsociety he willfinddetaileddocumentation and Schelsky'sdiscussionofChristian faithand graphicalreferences. to religiousinstitutionsinfluencedmy formulaHere, I wishto expressmy indebtedness my teacherin the sociologyof religion,Carl tion of the problem. social sciences inherited the perennial question about the relation between individual existence and the so- THE This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 148 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY sonalityas well as in discussionsof the search on the model of marketingstuaxioms whichunderlieeconomictheory. dies, with documentsof ecclesiasticand thrownin here In our day it claims attentionin a new theologicalsoul-searching phrasingwhichlends topical urgencyto and there. its implications:What is the impact of At presentthe sociologyof religionis modernsocietyupon the individualcon- divorcedfromthe main issues of social most ductoflife;whatmeaningdoestheperson theory.The assumptionsunderlying researchare caughtup in variousreligious find in modernculture? The answers to these questions may or scientificideologies which range all ultimatelylead beyond the boundaries the way frompositivismto psychological withinwhichthe social sciencesmustre- functionalismand reductionismand to main. Yet, if the social scienceswish to rigidapplicationsof the functional-strucbe relevantforhumanbeings,theymust tural view of religionas an institution not refuseto raise such questionsin the with ratherspecial and specializedfunccontext of scientificdiscourse,consider tionsin thetotalsystem.However,most, themin the lightof social theoryand in- ifnot all researchsharesin an agreement spectthe empiricalevidencewhichmight to identifyreligionwith its prevalent, form,therebyacfullyinstitutionalized informthe answers. of reliConsidering thenatureofthe questions cepting the self-interpretations one mightjustifiablylookto thesociology gious institutionsas valid definitionsof of religionas a disciplinemost likely to the rangeof its subject matter. Furtherhave broughtthe probleminto focus al- more,most,if not all researchsharesin ready. Yet, scrutinizingthe sociology the acceptance of a methodologysubof religiontoday, one can hardlyavoid scribingto techniquesimportedfromcerthe impressionthat it has maneuvered tain other fields,a methodologywhich itselfinto a positionfromwhich it has encouragesand even dictatesrestriction little to contributeto our questions. to the sociography of overt institue.g., churchatComparedwith Durkheim'sand Weber's tionalizedperformances, view of religionas the key to the under- tendance,and to the scalingof atomisticstandingof societythe new sociologyof ally definedopinionand attitudeitems. religion appears trivial. Furthermore, Yet, such as it is, an impressivequangeneralsocial theorytoday tends to re- tity of empirical material on churchofreal interest orientedreligionhas accumulated. As gardreligionas something and the social his- criticalas one may be of the theoretical to the anthropologists of the new sociologyof toriansonly. The new sociologyof reli- impoverishment gion enjoys a modest reputationas a religion,therecan be no short-cutto a branchof studyconsistingofthe exegesis theoryofreligionin modernsocietywhich ofWeberiantextson thetheoreticalside, bypasses this material, since the interand in practiceleading to the collection pretationof this materialrevealsthe soreligion of ratherboringsociographicdetails on cial location of church-centered of the ecclesiasticinstitutions.At the sametime today. Withoutan understanding the new sociologyof religionhas cometo peculiaraspects of the social locationof today,in turn,we cannot exert a strange fascinationfor church church-religion and pastoraltheologians. tryto graspthe generalnatureofreligion administrators On the whole,the new sociologyor reli- in modernsociety. giongave up its claim to theoreticalrele*** vance and developedinto a studiousacIn the industrializedcountriesofWestcountof churchorganizationin the form of parish demography,sometimescom- ern Europe a marked differencein the bined witha sortof religiousopinionre- spread of church-religionstill prevails This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY amongurban and rural areas, the latter being characterizedby higheraverages. Men are characterizedby loweraverages than women, and among women those who have become assimilatedto men in their occupational roles resemble men morecloselythantheirfellow-women who are housewives. The middle generation, which is most directlyinvolved in the role patternsof industrialsociety,shows lower averages than both the younger and the older generations. Among the occupational groups agricultural,whitecollar and some traditionalprofessional categories have higher averages than workers.These differences roughlycoincide with the differential distributionof church-centered religiosity by social classes. Farmers,or rather,peasantsand those elementsin the middle-classwhich are bourgeoisie survivals of a pre-modern, have a disproportionately high degreeof church-centered religiosity. The European findingsmust be compared withthe resultsof researchon the in the United churchesand denominations States. Americahad a unique social historywhichincludedthe complexof cirexpericumstancesknownas the frontier ence, a particularlyrapid and almost and convulsiveprocessofindustrialization urbanization,immigration, the early establishmentof a dominantmiddle class outlookand styleoflife-a historywhich excludeda feudalpast, etc. The religious historyof the countryincludes equally unique circumstances: the puritanperiod, the era or revivals, the prodigiousdevelopment of sects, the separation of churchand state accompanied by a peculiarlyintimaterelationbetweenreligion and politics. On the otherhand, American societyis themost "modern"in terms of its socio-economicstructure. Therefore,it is a testcase forany generalinterpretationof the social locationofchurchreligiontoday. At first,the Americandata seem quite differentfrom the European findings. The absolute figuresof membershipare 149 on the other lower,thoseof participation, hand, considerablyhigher,especially in the case of Protestantism-no matter what criteriaare used. Yet, at closer inspectionit appears that the same general factors determinethe over-all social location of church-religion.Similar rural-urbandifferencesexist, although they are less pronouncedand although they exhibit a somewhatmore complex pattern,mainlybecause of Catholicconcentrationsin metropolitanareas. The differences betweenmenand women,with the interestingexception of the Jews, also followthe same lines,althoughthey, too, are less sharplydrawn. The differences betweenthe generationsfollowthe European example in part, but here the pull of Sunday-school-agechildren on their parents complicates the pattern again, especially in the suburbs. The findingson occupationsare too scarceand inconclusiveat presentto permitany generalization,althoughit appearsthatthey deviate somewhat from the European pattern. The differences betweenclasses with respect to religion are less pronounced than in Europe, just as class difLerences in generalare less discontinuidenous,despitean underlying structural tityin the systemof stratification.With theexceptionofa sociallyalmostinvisible, generallyunchurched urbanand ruralproletariat,the workingclass today merges more or less imperceptibly into the outlook, style of life and religiouspattern ofthemiddleclass. Althoughdifferences still exist, they are overlaid by the peculiarlyAmericandifferentiation of prestige among denominationswhich finds expressionin the social status of the membership.At least the majorchurches and denominationsare middle class in theiroutlook. Doctrinaldifferences within Protestantismhave become largelyirrelevant. Furthermore, a generalideologicallevellingbetweenProtestantism, Catholicismand Judaismseemsto be taking place, despite the lack of a theological rapprochementand despite the persist- This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 150 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY ence of some areas of fairlysharppoliti- The churcheshave accommodatedthemcal friction.Bureaucratizationalong ra- selves to cultural,social and psychologiin the contextofthe Ameritionalistic,businesslikelines and accom- cal functions modation to the middle-class outlook can Dream,functionswhichin the tradiof the churches characterizeProtestantism,Catholicism tional self-understanding and Judaismalike,the historicalconnec- would have been considered "secular" tion betweenthis outlookand the Pro- ratherthan "religious." In a mannerof in Europe testant ethos notwithstanding.Despite speaking,then,church-religion the commoninvolvementin the level- was pushed to the peripheryof secular in America ling process of so-called secularization, society,whilechurch-religion some subcultural differencesbetween became internallysecularized. Internalizationof the symbolicreality thesegroupscontinueto play a role and seem to be destinedfor perpetuationby of traditionalreligionis not favoredby soendogamy. the social structureof contemporary It seems possibleto discerna common ciety. Even withoutthechallengeofovert ideologiesthisfactalone sufpattern in the correlationof church- anti-church centeredreligionwith demographic-eco-fices to push traditionalchurch-religion life. If logical categoriesand social role and sta- to the marginof contemporary The patterninvitesthe the churchesmaintaintheirinstitutional tus configurations. religion claim to representand mediate the traconclusionthat church-centered has become a marginalphenomenonin ditionalrogious universe,they survive, modernsociety. This conclusion,how- in the nit, by associationwith social in thefact roles which continueto be orientedtoever,meetsa seriousdifficulty that in termsof absolutefiguresof overt ward the values of a past social order. the Unit- If, on the otherhand, the churchesacparticipationin church-religion ed States, by no means an unmodern commodatethemselvesto modern culcountry,surpassesthe WesternEuropean turetheyby necessitybeginto legitimate of this legitimatthe high Amer- it. In the performance countries. Furthermore, ican indices in all likelihoodrepresent ing function,however,the traditionalina fairlyrecentupward movement. Cer- nersubstanceof thechurchbecomesthortainly no simple uni-linearand one-di- oughlyirrelevant.In short,the so-called mensionalsecularizationhypothesiscan process of secularizationhas decisively be maintainedin the face of thesefacts. alteredeitherthesociallocationofchurchThe paradox can be resolved. In Eu- centeredreligion or its inner meaning religion structure. rope,the fate of church-centered ofsecIn thesociologicalinterpretation was simplerthan in the United States. It became restrictedto a minor,in some ularizationit does not sufficeto refer countriesminimal,part ofthe population to industrializationand urbanizationas to thatpartwhich thoughtheseprocesseshad automatically and,characteristically, the values of is peripheralto the structureof modern and necessarilyundermined industrialsociety in termsof its social traditionalreligion.Nor can one interpret religion determinants.In America,the broader the decrease in church-centered middle-classdistributionof church-reli- as a retreatbeforecompetinganti-religion does not representa reversalof the giousideologies,naivelypostulatingsome trend, i.e., a resurgenceof traditional inherentsuperiorityto these ideologies. church-religion.It is the result,rather, Industrializationand urbanizationmust of a radical inner change in American be seen as social processeswhich have whichis expressedin the led to globalchangesin thetotalstructure church-religion adoptionby the churchesof the of society. Once the nature of this reveffective is fullygraspsecular versionof the Protestantethos. olutionarytransformation This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY ed it may becomepossible to understand how it underminesthe dominanceof one historicalsocial formof religion,i.e., of religion institutionallyspecialized as a church. The values whichwereoriginally institutionalized by the churchweretotal life values; they were meanings which spannedthe biographyof the individual. Such values can not remainmeaningful if they become irrelevantin the socially determinedexperiencesof the person. In other words, they cannot survive unchangedas partial meaningswithmerely part-timevalidity. The decreasein traditional church-centered religiosityis a consequenceof the decreasingrelevance of ecclesiasticallyinstitutionalized values forthe meaningfulintegrationof everyday life in modernsociety. Traditional church-centered religioncomesto depend more and more upon exceptional and peripheralratherthantypicaland central social factors. Anotherand moreimportantquestion, however,is the following:what are the dominantoverarching symbolicmeanings in contemporaryculture,what is their relationto the structureof modernsociety and what is theirfunctionin the life of contemporary man? Even if one continuesto view secularizationas the retreatof traditionalreligionbeforethe onslaughtof modernpaganism,the sociologistmust finally ask the question whatit is that secularizationhas brought about in the way of sociallyobjectivated sense. The overwhelming significanceof in the shapingofthe modern Christianity Westernworld,the survival-albeit peripheral-of traditionalformsof churchreligionand the absence,in the West, of an institutionalized anti-church have combinedin obscuringthe possibilitythat a new religionis in the making. Are there any groundsfor raising this possibility fromits speculativestatus to the status of a productivehypothesisin the social theoryof religion? If we accept the customaryidentification of religionwith its social formpre- 151 valent in Westernhistory,we are forced to concludethat religionis in antithetic oppositionto societyand that it is losing out to modernsociety. This, indeed,is theview ofreligionthatunderliesvarious dialectical as well as positivistphilosophies of history. It also followsfrom certainaxioms of Christian,particularly Protestantand especiallyNeo-orthodox theology which distinguishesbetween "natural" religionsand the exceptional character of Christianfaith. In these views, eitherthe absence of religion,or a regressto "natural,""pagan" religion, respectively,are essentialcharacteristics of the modernworld. Whateverthe theologicaland philosophical meritsofsuch dialectics,theylead to a misconception ofthe so-calledprocess ofsecularization, as wellas to moregeneral in the social theoryof recontradictions ligion. Dialectics of this kind are based on a substantivedelimitationof the phenomenonof religionwhich is regularly combinedwitha theologicalorideological evaluation of the phenomenonthus delimited. In orderto avoid such bias the social theoryof religionmust begin by consideringthe universalproto-forms of religion. What is put in question here is this: what is it that may eventuallybecome institutionalized as religion;does it have a personal and social reality which is at least conceptuallydistinctfromthe variable historicalformsof religiousinstitutions? To phrase the question differently:Are there socially objectivated of the universalfunctionof proto-forms religionwhichcan be distinguished from the fullydevelopedhistoricalsocial forms of religionknownto us as tribalreligion, ancestorcult, church,sect, etc. * * In the life of man meaningis constitutedin the contextofrelationsto fellow men. The individual,as an isolated organism cannot create meaning autonomously. He does not have a distinct, This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 152 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY memorablepast, nor a distinct,open fu- Selves into a meaningcontextis a social ture; he lacks the two temporaldimen- processwhichcorrespondsto the subjecof a sions in which life could be meaningful tive experienceof the transcendence and develop a coherentand determinate socialorderofreality. It is thisexperience shape. Meaning, past and future,are whichis thesourceofindividualreligiosity social phenomena.Mean- and the phenomenonof religion. fundamentally ing,as it appears in the subjectivestrucThe social orderis notto be understood but rather and in theprojection as a rigidsystemofinstitutions turingofrecollection of plans into the futureis social in its as a context of meaning in which the origin. The individualis takento taskfor experientialcategoriesoftime,space,cauhis past by othersand he programshis sality and purposeinterlockand become futurein anticipationof being taken to socially objectivatedin language. Freeunderstoodas dom of choice between good and evil, task again. Individuality, continuityof experience,consistsin the the abilityto plan conductaccordingto ofpast and future,bothbeing a hierarchyof importance,cannot origiintegration transcendencesof the specious present. nate in the autonomousindividualin auwhich pre-supposes tonomous situations. The choices are It is this integration always "bound" and "transcendent"in society. The organismis placed in a biological the sense in whichthese two termswere in a life-contextof situa- used here. environment, The social ordertranscendstheindividtionally determinedbehavior. The individuationof consciousnessis a mere ual in several ways. It precedesthe forpossibilityof the separateorganism.De- mation of any individual consciousness detachmentfromthe fluxof immediateex- as a ready-madehistoricalframework all expeperience originates in social processes limitatingand pre-interpreting whichbindtheindividualto a past which rience. The social orderalso transcends is irrevocablyhis and to a futurewhich theindividualas an external,non-individhis to act upon. This deter- ual realitywhich determineshis biograis specifically rela- phy and his situationsin the formof obminateand, as it were,proprietary the tionshipto past and futureaccompanies jective social controls. Furthermore, with social orderis experiencedas transcenfromthelife-context thedetachment its immediaterequirementsand cannot dent and bindingnot onlyforoneself,it originateautonomouslyin the isolated is experiencedas bindingand valid for individual. It growsout of the confron- othersas well,it is givenas an objective who imposeupon the structureof meaning. tationoffellowmen Potentially,at least, the social order individuala past forwhichhe is responsible and a futurefor whichhe will be containsstill anotherdimensionof tranresponsible,in short,they impose upon scendence. Since it appears as objective him the social status of a person. By and valid regardlessof person,situation becominga personin this sense, the in- and time,it can be experiencedas a mandividualtranscendshis biologicalnature. ifestationof an overarchinguniversal Withdrawal from this imposed status order. The humanpotentialfortranscendence means loss of individuality,not merely involvementin life conof pre-reflective in the legal sense of the term. Individuation,emergenceof self,origi- stitutesthe conditionforthe social protonates in society,in the social process. formof religion. The social proto-form of identity,a processtrig- of religionis determinedby its fundaThe emergence of others,oc- mentalfunction:to bestowmeaningupon geredby the confrontation cursin the dimensionoftime. The bind- individual existence. It binds the seing of past and future,of Self and other quence ofindividualsituationsinto a bi- This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY 153 ography. It transcendsindividual con- In its originalsocial objectivation,in the sciousness by becoming objectivated in language,it pervadesthe communication language. It is the conditionfor sociali- and action patterns arising around the zation, for the emergenceof the person most divergentinstitutionalfoci. fromthe animal organism. It is super- Religionbecomessocially objectivated ordinatedto the individualselfas an ob- in additionaland, as it were,morespecific jective social reality characterizedby a forms. The sense coherenceof the world stabilityimmeasurablygreaterthan that view as a whole becomes an object of of the individualstreamof consciousness. symbolization. It is expressedin special Thus we may definethe proto-formof symbols,which are dependentupon the religionas the meaningconfiguration of formativeprinciplesinherentin language. the social order,as the innerformof the The view of God and man is intimately world view. relatedto the linguisticpotentialforabWorld view is minimallyactualized in straction,formationof divine names and the innersemanticstructureof language. attributes,dramatizationof events and It appears to the individual as the "na- values. Neverthelessthese symbolsgain tural" logic in terms of which he per- a status independentof their linguistic ceives the worldas a universeof typical objectivation,theybecomea realitywhich things,eventsand relationsand in terms transcendsthe reality of everydaylife. ofwhichhe orientshis actionsand makes This symboliclevel ofrealityformsa sephis choices. It formsthe contextof all arate and superordinateddomain within meaningin subjectiveexperience. It pre- theworldview and functions,at the same cedes the individualas a concretematrix time,as a representation of the coherent ofinterpretations and actionrecipeswhich sense of the world view as a whole. It circumscribe such as whatis conceivableand prac- containsthematicconfigurations ticable. By internalizing this matrixthe sacredmyths,cosmologicalinterpretations individualbecomesa thinkingand acting and epic and dramaticcondensationsof personin society. The learningof single the problemsand crisesof everydaylife. culturalitems and recipes is, of course, The authorityof symboliclanguage in partofthisprocessbut its essentialaspect bestowingsense to individual life canis the internalizationof the matrix as a notbe derivedfromthe contentofa given total configuration, as a personal struc- religious theme taken in isolation. It ture of meaning. This does not occur as originatesin the over-allsense coherence a "conscious"process in the same sense of the worldview and, ultimately,in the in which the learningof single ideas is transcendentcharacteroftheworldview. conscious. It occurs,rather,as the crys- The "binding"functionofreligion,in spetalizationof a personalperspectiveon the cificprocessesofsocialization,is normally world,of an individualstyleof life. The performedby specificreligiousrepreseninner formof the worldview is contin- tations. The effectiveness of specificreuously obligatoryfor the individual as ligiousthemes,however,is rootedin the the "natural"logic of his experience. It generalcoherenceof meaningwhichthey determined his biographybecause it shap- represent. The specificallyreligiousased what he has taken for grantedhere- pects of socialization are embedded in tofore. It is taken for grantedby his socializationas a totalprocessofreligious fellowmenwho co-determine,by what individuation. The systemofreligiousrepresentations, they take for granted,the situationsin which he finds himself. In short,it is as a focused expression of the world obligatorybecause it gave formto his view as a whole and as a special stratum conscienceand because it is enforcedby in it, influencesthe social structureand a system of controls exteriorto him. is in turninfluencedby it. The objectiva- This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 154 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY social tion of meaningin language and world This is, of course,the characteristic which formof religionin the Judaeo-Christian viewis alreadya socialphenomenon directlydeterminesthe socialization of traditionin Westernhistory,the social predisthe individual. As a standardizedstra- formwhichwe are understandably withreligion.It is theretum of the worldview, however,it has posedto identify also a directbearingon the collectivelife forenecessaryto stressthe complex,soco- cio-historicallyalmost unique combinaof society. Religiousrepresentations determineconduct in the full range of tion of circumstanceswhich surrounded of social situations. Religion,as a stratum its development. Institutionalization of the world view, may remaina social doctrineand ritual,developmentof some differenrealitywithoutbecominginstitutionalized formof ecclesiasticorganization, qua religionand yetpermeateinstitutions tiation of the religiouscommunityfrom such as kinship,the divisionoflabor and societyat large presupposea fairlycomeconomicaction,the regulationofpower, plex socialstructure.Specializedreligious etc. In sum, this social formof religion rolesbecomedefinedin an otherwisedifis characterizedby standardizationof re- ferentiated,or incipientlydifferentiated withan economy ligiousthemesin a special sacred-symbo- systemof stratification, lic stratumoftheworldview,penetration, producingconsiderablesurplusover the inperhaps in varyingdegrees,of different subsistenceminimum. Furthermore, institutionalspheresand absence of spe- stitutionalspecializationof religionis incialized and autonomousreligiousinsti- timatelylinkedto a certainheterogeneity of culture,or, rather,the unequal distritutions. The developmentof specialized reli- bution of the world view in society. In generalrecognition short,thissocialformofreligionemerges gious representations, of theirspecial status,and theirinvolve- only in so-called highercivilizations. ment in institutionsmay, however,iniParadoxically,onlyif religionis localtiate a development whichleads to forma- ized in special social institutionsdoes the tion of special religiousinstitutions.The antithesisbetween religion and society symbolicuniversetherebygainsa particu- develop. Such localizationis the neceslar locationin society. The authorityof saryconditionforthe historyof religious in the total senseco- dogma and ecclesiastic organizationas religion,originating herenceof the worldview, receivesovert distinctfroma secular cultureand "soinstitutions.The social sanction. In consequence,socially cial" (i.e., non-religious) are also historyof the highercivilizationsshows derivedreligiousrepresentations externallyenforcedas observancesof a a widerangeofrelationsbetweenreligion sacred topography,as a sacred calendar, and society,bothunderstoodin thisfashas specificallyreligiousrituals,and doc- ion. Oncereligionoccursin thesocialform specializationit assumesa trines. The administrationof this spe- ofinstitutional manicialized area of sacredexperienceis taken varietyof concretesocio-historical overby specializedsocial roles. The reli- festations. For one, it varies with reof the individual spectto thedegreeof actual specialization gious self-transcendence in socializationis therebybuilt as well as withrespectto the positionof originating into a well-definedsystemof the sacred religiousinstitutionsin the social strucand theprofanewhichpervadesthe social ture as a whole, the degreeof its dominance and its interrelationswith other system. This social formof religionis charac- institutions. While religion originally and conservation terizedby the locationof religiousrepre- servesin the integration relisentationsin specializedreligiousinstitu- of the social order,institutionalized tions and specializedfull-timeand part- gion may become a dynamicsocial force time religious roles and performances. in some historicalcircumstances.Since This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY the sacred universe and the "world" develop their own "logic" which is backed up by the respective institutions,tensions may develop between religious experience and the requirements of a secular situation. The history of Christianity,of Buddhism and of Islam document a variety of attempts to resolve such tensions. The social forms of religion are constituted as structures of individual consciousness. The integration of the fleeting subjective consciousness into the identity of a person is contextual: it occurs in the social context of the transcendence of other beings and of an objective world view. The organism is located in an ecological environment; the person is forced to accept his biography and his future, including death, as something which is mapped out in a social matrix of meaning. The internalization of this matrix as a personal perspective determines the hierarchical organization of the Self. The world view is an external social fact for the individual, a stable outside referencepoint which is continuously validated in social processes. Simultaneously, it is an internalized perspective on the world which locates the self in relation to its own past and future, to alter egos, in short to transcendences of various kinds. The continuity of sense in individual existence is relative to the cohesion of the world view. The integration of the person, we have said, is the continuity of sense. Subjectively, it manifests itself in the continuous recognition of identity in one's actions and assumption of responsibilityforthem. To others, the person appears in actions which are more or less meaningfulas outward manifestations of a fellow man. We may subsume both aspects under the term, personal identity, or, if one wishes to put it so, the organization of personality. It is the proto-formof individual religiosity analogous to the sense-coherence of the world view which is the social protoformof religion. It rests on the same universal anthropological condition: tran- 155 scendence of the biological nature in the social process. The concrete historical individual, however, is born into a society which precedes him and he is socialized into a world view which is ready-made. The ability to internalize supra-individual meanings depends on a basic openness toward the world; it presupposes the potential for self-transcendence. The concrete social forms of religion, however, enter the formation of individual consciousness as external, socially objectivated determinahts. In other words, the concrete processes in which individual religiosity develops are determined by the social formsof religioh. In correspondence to the representation of the sense of the world view in a special symbolic stratum, the hierarchical organization of individual consciousness contains a symboliclayer which represents the identity of the person in relation to a transcendent world. The content of this layer is derived, in the form of religious representations,from the symbolic realm of the world view. This stratum of consciousness thus consists of overarching, 4"ultimate" meanings and values which illuminate the routine of daily life and attempt to overcome and legitimate the brute finality of its crises by placing them in a transcendent context of meaning. The symbolic layer of the world view is not internalized by the individual as a mere series of concepts and symbols. It forms,rather, a structureof prioritiesand justifications in the individual's conscious coping with life. It is more or less crystallized linguistically as mythos, as sacred reference,as moralistic recipe, as proverb and the like. Inasmuch as it is so crystallized, this superordinated level of consciousness is communicable. It must be emphasized, however, that it functions subjectively not only as a hierarchy of verbalized justifications but also as an effective, not necessarily verbalized arbiter among alternative courses of action. Since religious representations tend to become embedded in the social structure This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 156 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY the charity,observanceof the Sabbath etc. in variousinstitutional configurations, individualencounterssituationsin which The main modalitiesof church-centered religiousmeaningsare institutionally re- religiositycorrespondto the institutional inforced.Normsendowedwith religious structureof the church; the meaningsignificance,e.g., father,chivalry,caste, ful internalcoherenceof church-centered my country,fairplay, gettingahead, etc. religiosityis socially derived from the -to choose a few random instances- thematicconsistency ofreligiousdoctrine. occur in various institutionalcontexts. Thus we must distinguishbetween: condition Certain types of social action, certain a) theuniversalanthropological words,visible objectsetc., receivea reli- forreligion,i.e., socializationconceivedas to thesuper- a processofreligiousindividuation;b) the giousdimension, byreference ordinatedsymbolicuniverseand, subjec- world view, and especially its symbolic tively,by theirlocationin the individual domain as the universalsocial-protoform structureof ultimate justificationsand ofreligion,withthe personalstructureof priorities. The institutionmerely de- prioritiesand justificationas its indivifinesthe area of concreteapplicationand dual correlate;and c) the various socioprovides typical motivationalcontexts. historicalformsof religion. The latter Thus the schemaof prioritiesand justifi- range from standardizationof religious cationsgains concretecontentin theform representations to fhe full specialization of specificreligiousinterpretations of ac- of religion as an autonomousreligion. tionsand experiencesin the social world The corresponding structures in individual of everydaylife. consciousnessrange fromcrystallization religiousmotivations, maxThe institutionalspecializationof reli- of specifically to church-centergionoccurs,as indicatedbeforeonlyunder ims and interpretations particular socio-historiccircumstances. ed religiosity. Once religiontakes on this social form, These considerationswere to remind it presentsto theindividuala ready-made, us of the social originof the phenomenon coherent system of meaning which is of transcendence,of the universalityof and of linguisticallyand socially recognizedas religionand its social proto-forms, ofits fullydevelopedsocial specifically religious.Givensucha ready- thehistoricity made model,subjectivereligiositymay- forms. We must now ask in what relaand to a certaindegreemust-orient it- tion the universal social protoformsof reli- religionstandto thesocio-historical self relative to it. Church-oriented forms giosityis shapedby theconcretehistorical and especiallyto the churchas the inchurchor similarspecializedreligiousin- stitutionallyspecializedformof religion. In the simplestcase the churchmight stitutions,with their founders,sacred texts, prophets, theologians,ministers, representthe concretehistoricalrealizaof the world adherentsin precedinggenerations,and tion of the sense-coherence one's ownfamily;withitsbuildings,icons, view in obligatory institutionalform. fundraisers and Sunday-schools.The spe- Church-centered religiositymightbe the cialized religiousinstitutioncomprehends institutionallyspecifiedpersonal system itselfas havingthe monopolyof religion. of prioritiesand justifications.But the Traditionsand normsdevelopwhichhave church arises only under conditionsof to the historicalchurch considerablecomplexityin the social orspecificreference as an autonomousinstitutionstanding der,includinga somewhatunequal social apart from the world. Subjectively distributionof the world view. It is, church-centered religiositydevelops in therefore, unlikelythat at any time the of churchexpressesthe sense coherenceof the formof approximatefulfillments ideal, institutionallyspecifiednorms of the world view of one society. As an beliefs and conduct, e.g. Easter Duty, institution it developsa history, traditions This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY 157 etc. As an institutionit entersinto relaWith these considerationswe return tions of mutual supportwith otherspe- to the questionaboutthenatureofreligion cialized institutionsor it may run into in modern society. The decline of the conflictwith them. This social formof social effectivenessand validity of our religion thus contains an inherentpo- historicalchurches,customarilyattributtentialforbeingboth moreand less than ed to the advance of secular ideologies, the perfecthistoricalactualizationof the now appears as merelyone aspect of a of religion. Church-cen- more complex process. The changes in social protoform tered religiosity,of course, suffersthe the social structurewhich appear to us same fate. The institutionalfixationof as typically "modern" have been achighlyspecificnormsrelativeto religious companiedby changesin the process of meaningsand actionsgivessocial stability socialization,relativenot onlyto its conand visibilityto these. Yet it also freezes tent but also to the general integration themat a givenpointand segmentsthem of individual existencein society. It is into catechismalitems,as it were. Po- this change, ratherthan the loss of an tentially,at least, such meanings may ideological battle, ratherthan transforlose theirpositionin the personalsystem mationsin the economiclife of modern of prioritiesand ultimatejustifications. society,ratherthan urbanizationtaken In otherwords,religiousrepresentations,as an ecologicalphenomenon,whichlead originallya superordinatedoverarching to the peculiarphenomenoncalled secustructureof meaning,may become com- larization. Marginalityof church-religion partmentalizedand relegatedinto some and the inner secularizationof churchcornerof individualconsciousness. Fur- religionmay be symptomsof the decline of specialized of Christianity.More significantly, they thecrystallization thermore, in social announce the decline of the particular religiousnormsand performances specialized social formof roles may lead to conflictsfor the indi- institutionally vidual who must successivelyact in dif- religion. They may be forecastingthe ferentinstitutionalareas, each with its emergence,not simplyof a new pseudoownrequirements.This is anotherfactor religionor secularist ideologybut of a towardthe narrowingofthe new social formof religion. "Secularizacontributing specialized tion" may thus referto a radical change jurisdictionof institutionally religiousnorms. The processmay even- in therelationoftheindividualto society. tually dissolvethe subjectivelymeaning- This processwas triggeredby revolutionin thesocialstructure. religio- arytransformations ful coherenceof church-centered sity. In that case, specialized religious Now it affectsthe meaning of life in soactions cease to be religiousin any rele- cietyand, thereby,personalexistence. vant senseofthe termand specializedre* * ligious representationsbecome isolated Church-centered religiosityin its re"opinions"whichretain a purelyverbal, rhetoricalstatus for the person,far re- lation to the social structureappears as phemoved from his subjective system of one aspect of a multi-dimensional prioritiesand justifications.Church-cen-nomenon. The normsof traditionalrelicannotserveas a yardteredreligiositymay becomemeaningless gious institutions for some individuals,for specifiedsocial stick in assessingreligionin modernsotypes or for all membersof a society. ciety. We must ask the questions sugIt may become a set of performancesgestedby the precedingdiscussion:What devoid of religiousmeaning,motivated is the inner formof the world view in and pres- modernsocietyand what are the typical by socialpressure,respectability aesthetical-sentimen-representations whichconstituteits symtige-considerations, bolic domain? Are theserepresentations tal reasons, sociability and the like. This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 158 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY located in specific institutional areas ? One of the mostimportantcharacterisWhat role do the churches, and institu- tics of modernsocietyis the sharp segtionally specialized formsof religion gen- mentationof institutionaldomains, e.g. erally play in this context? Correspond- of economicsand of politics,withinthe ingly, what is the hierarchical system of social structure. The normswithinthe ultimate justifications and priorities of domains become increasingly "rationthe typical person in modern society, what alized," i.e. determined by the functional are the norms which have an overarching, requirements oftheinstitution as such.At sense-integratingfunctionin everyday life the same time,the institutionaldomains today and how are they associated with gainedincreasing autonomy.Normswithsocial roles and positions; and finally, in an institutionalsphere, autonomous what is the subjective meaning of church- onlywithinthat sphereand rationalonly centered religiosity in modern society? in relationto it, become of necessityreClarification of the problem of secula- strictedin supra-institutional relevance. rization and the shift in theoretical per- The churchin modernsocietydid not esspective which leads to the formulation cape thisdevelopment.Neithercouldshe of these questions were my first concern escape the processof functionalrationahere. Yet the answers to the questions lization. She, too, gains an extraordinary are of such potential importance for our amountof internalautonomy,while the understanding of religion and the rela- validityofhernormsbecomesrelativized, tion of individual and society in the world as muchas this goes againstthe original of today that I shall risk some tentative overarchingsignificanceof religiousrepsuggestions. The risk is great since the resentations. evidence for the answers is spotty, often Religious representations,institutionopen to varying interpretations. Yet if alized by the church,cease to be the only I should succeed in opening a fruitful themesin the symbolic stratumof the perspective to critical discussion the risk worldview. Inequalityin the social distributionof the worldview, the internal is worth taking. The history of Western civilization is dynamismof ideas and relativationof characterized by the extreme institutional the validity of ideas lead to a processin specialization of religion in the form of whichultimatemeaningsof a "religious" characterare the church. Whatever the reasons for as well as "anti-religious" this development, identity between the added to the traditionalreligiousrepreprotoformof all religion and the church is sentationsin the worldview. The strucstill presumed. Perhaps the presumption ture of the world view, its innerform, is approximately justified in some periods tends to lose its cohesion since it now of Western history,despite the dynamism accomodates a quantity of ideas which both of Christianity and occidental so- are incompatiblewith one another. For ciety. The break-up of the feudal order, the individual,the world view tends to however, definitely signals the end of become a departmentstoreof meanings, fromwhichhe this presumed identity. The revolutionary an ideologicalassortment changes in the social order of the 18th choosesas a quasi-autonomousindividual. To the individual,the institutionalsegand 19th century and the corresponding radical changes in ideas broke the effective mentationof the social structurebecomes spiritual dominance of the church and manifestin the highdegreeof anonymity of social roles in apled to legal and political recognition of in his performance that fact. The institutional specialization parently autonomous institutional doof religion ultimately resulted in the rel- mains. As an actor on the social scene, ativization of the church as an institu- he is pushedthrougha seriesof situations rigidlycontrolledby one institutionaldotion among other institutions. This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY 159 main or another. The functionalrationChurch-centered religiosityis likelyto alityofthenormsmakessubjectiveresist- become a localized and peripheralpheit nomenonofsubjectiveconsciousness.The ance to them unlikely. Furthermore, is preciselythe rationalityof the norms social locationof the churches,of course, which makes the performancesalone a decisivelyinfluencesthe way in which vitalconcernoftheinstitution.Therefore, church-centered religiosityis subjectively while the institutionsmustinsiston per- constituted,i.e., religiousnorms appear formancecontrolvis-a-visthe actor,they to the individual in the perspectiveof need take only minimalinterestin the his class family,sex,occupationetc. Yet, shapingof the total person. We need not whilethe specializedreligiousnormsmay fortheindividual,it is liketouch here on the special problemof the be meaningful familyas an institutionand of modern ly that their meaning is restrictedand totalitariansystems,sincetheywould re- relativized. The individualreligiouspoquire special analysis. The generalfacts tential, as it were, and the subjective to formationof a systemof prioritiesand controland indifference ofperformance the person are the structuralconditions justificationsdoes not automaticallyacforthe seemingparadox discussedin our tualize itselfin the traditionalsocial form days under the heading of "individual- of religion. The processesby whichtraism" and "conformity."Despite perfor- ditional religious meanings are transthe forma- mittedin modernsocietyare not general, mance controlby institutions, tion of person in modern society is no as we have seen. The more "modern" longerprofoundlyinfluencedby institu- the constellationof social factorsdeterof modernso- miningsocialization,the less likely the tions. The characteristics cial structure typicallylead to a relatively internalizationof traditionalspecialized imprecisesocialization profile,vide the religiousrepresentations.But even the demandforParentsMagazine,syndicated church-centeredindividual is a "conadvice on life's problems and the like. sumer" whose taste is bent toward the The wideningof the privatespherein the more traditional,under the influenceof life of the individual correlateswith a the-as it were-"unmodern" circumminimalsocial delineationof characterin stances of his social biography. The consumerorientationis a general the person. In a mannerof speaking,the ofthe individualin modern privatespherein individuallife expands characteristic leftby the segmented society. It is obvious in the economic into the interstices institutions.This is the structuralbasis sphere,it penetratespoliticsconspicuousfor the illusory sense of individual au- ly in election campaigns and the role ofpublicopinion. It is a pervasiveorientonomyin the modernperson. The "autonomous" individual today tationof the individualvis-A-visthe culconfrontsthe traditionalreligiousrepre- ture as a whole. The worldview is not sentations, too,moreorless as a consumer. an obligatorystructureofcoherentmeanInstitutionallyspecialized religion be- ing but an assortmentof ideas and opincomes a matterof culturalchoice,a pri- ions. Researchin the sociologyofreligion religiosity vate affair. It may be infused with indicatesthat church-centered prestigesignificance,with a functionof contains only a shallow doctrinallayer or it may be used as containingopinionfragments unlikelyto social identification, relationto oneanother, a comfortablyfamiliaresthetic decora- standin a coherent tion for the enlarging private sphere. havingbasicallyno morethan rhetorical Paradoxically, the institutionalized,so- status. They have little relevancein decially most "objective"formof religion terminingthe actions of the individual becomesa purelysubjectivephenomenon in the typical situationsof modernlife. The conflictbetweenthe specializedreliin modernsociety. This content downloaded from 22.214.171.124 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 160 RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY and theperformancerious institutionalspheres,especiallyin giousrepresentations lecontrolby rational and autonomousin- economyand politicsare increasingly stitutionalnormscontributesto the dis- gitimatedbyfunctionalrationality.They solutionof the sense coherenceof tradi- lose their intimaterelationto the trantionalspecializedreligion. Yet such con- scendentsymbolicuniverse. The tradiflictneed not lead to the rejectionof tra- tional legitimationfrom "above" (the ditionalreligionbut ratherto the relati- ethic of vocation, divine rightof kings) vation of its normsand to restrictionof is replaced by legitimationfrom "withits relevance to the expanding private in," i.e., by referenceto the sheer rasphere. Church-centeredreligiosityis tional efficiencyof the institution. In likelyto becomea private-lifephenome- this sense the normsof the autonomous institutional spheres are becoming innon, irrelevantbeyond it. While the subjectiverelativityof the creasingly"secular." Clearly,this does functionalnorms of other institutional not mean that the institutionsare empspheres,e.g., of the economyhas little tied of "values." Secularizationis not of the insti- a process in which traditionalreligious relevancefor the efficiency tution,as long as the institutionmain- values just fade away; it is a processin tains absolute performancecontrol,the whichinternalinstitutionalideologiesrerelativationofreligiousmeaningsoriginat- place, withintheirown domain,an overing in the same process of structural arching and transcendentuniverse of change, contradictsthe very sense of norms. This,precisely,constitutesthe problem religion. The jurisdictionclaimedby rerepresents of the personin modernsociety. Isolated ligionis total,sinceit originally coherenceof sense in the institutionalideologiescan hardly offer the overarching life of the individual. Relegationof re- coherentmeaningto the life of the indito a cornerof in- vidual. They cannot presenta socially ligious representations structureof meaningto him, dividualconsciousnessand to the private pre-formed theirsense-giving func- as a model for his subjective schemeof sphereundermines tion and in consequenceunderminesthis prioritiesand justifications. In modernsocietythesymbolicuniverse social formof religion. reli- is not located in one singleinstitutional Privatizationof church-centered giosityand the dissolutionof the tra- domain. Nor is it a sharplydistinctlayer ditionalreligiouscoherenceof sense,trig- of the worldview, generallyand subjecgeredby the generalprocessof structural tively recognizedas religious. Religious distriby the non-religiousrepresentationsare differentially change,is reinforced functionsof the churches. Both in Eu- buted in society;they maintain tenuous ropeand in America,thoughin differentrelationswithinstitutionalideologies,soways and in differentdegrees, church- cial classes, and, (we may add without centeredreligionhas respectabilityand wantingto be facetious),specializedreprestigefunctionas well as sociability ligiousinstitutions.In part,religiousrepfunctions,especially for those who, in resentationshave no location in the soa mannerof speaking,werefrustrated by cial structure,being only part of the modernsociety. inventory of a civilization accessible and the dis- throughliterature,mass media etc. The Institutionalsegmentation solutionof the coherenttraditionalsym- most importantsocial, (and, in a sense, bolic universeaffectednot only religion non-social)locationof religiousrepresenas an autonomousinstitution but also the tationsis, however,the wideningprivate relation of religious representationsto sphere. Some "ultimatemeanings"maybe other,not specificallyreligious,institu- arisingpreciselyin that sphere,although tions. The dominantnormsin the va- they necessarilyremain inchoate. Since This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions RELIGION IN MODERN SOCIETY 161 structureof meaningsrelated to these theclosest ultimatethemesand represents approximationto at least partial institutionalizationofreligiousmeaningsin modern society. in a realitywhichmust Self-realization be denied leads to difficulties.Characteristicallysuch difficultiesare interpretedas problemsof the privatesphere, of the individual,and peace of mind solutions are offeredin these terms. The * * * themesof self-expression in sexuality,in All the emergingreligiousthemesdra- status competition,etc. are surrounded matize the autonomousindividual. The by a halo of sub-themeswhich have realityofinstitutions gained admission to the symbolicunisociallytranscendent becomes subjectivelyalmost completely verse: gettingalong with others,being meaningless.The individualis retrenched just plainfolks,adjustment,togetherness, in the private sphere while an uncom- and adjustmentagain. prehendedsocial orderdeterminesall the One importantthemeis familism. In and sexuality majorfactsof his existence. The illusory contrastto self-expression characterof the modernworld view de- which are clearly glorificationsof the rives fromthis fact. The realityof the autonomous individual in the private social orderis denied or ignoredby and sphere,familismseemsto strikea differforthe individualwhilehe mustcontinue ent tune. The impressionis misleading. to live under the absolute performance Familism,in modernsociety,is themain controlwhichtheinstitutions imposeover and perhaps the only possibilityto exhim. The modernreligion,by contribut- pand the autonomous self into a social not world. The private spherewill perhaps ing to the autonomousfunctioning, whileveil- accommodateanother autonomousconof one, but of all institutions, ingtheirreality,has almostthe character sumer-individualwithout directly and of total ideology,despitethe fact that it sharplybuttingagainsttherealitiesofthe is not localizedin a social class or institu- social structure, withoutimmediately falltion. Althoughit is radically secular, ing underthe absolute performance conit ignoresand veils even the trol of an institution.Familism,an imthis-worldly, most secular transcendencesof self by portanttheme in today's symbolicunithe mythof the autonomousindividual. verse, turnsout to be a variationon the The themeof the autonomousindivid- main theme. In regardingthe main religiousrepreual, firstaccentuatedfor modernityin the Romantic era, has become central sentationsone is struckby the absence and pervasive in the religious universe of death in any formwhatsoever. This the argument.Similarlysignifitoday. It expressesitselfin manydiffer- confirms versionsand sub-themes. cant is the minimal social and cultural ent,interrelated I shall merely list them here: Self-ex- shapingof old age. Death and old age in sex- have emigratedfromthe religiousunipressionundefined,self-expression in the search for verse. The autonomous individual is uality, self-realization status. The evidence for these themes young and never dies. in studies of so-called mass culture is For reasons already indicated in the strong,to say the least. Psychoanalysis, precedingsteps of analysisthe subjective on sophisticatedas wellas commonlevels, systemof prioritiesand justificationsof seemsto have becomean almostcoherent the modernindividual is relativelyun- theyare in the main,emotionsand sentiments they often lack even minimal linguisticobjectivation. Despite thispeculiarnatureofreligious in modernsocietyit seems representations that some dominantthemes,surrounded with a halo of subthemesand counterthemes (rigid coherenceand consistency is not a trait of the modernworldview) can be discerned. This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 162 RELIGION IN MODERN stable. It consistsof a hierarchyof opinions orderedessentiallyby affectiveemotional momentsarising in the private spherebut eminentlyadaptable to externally determinedsituations. Paradoxically, the weakness of this systemand consequentlyof the structureof the person is a conditionfor the apparent autonomyof the individualtoday. In sum, modernreligiosityis neither institutionally formednor predefinedin the worldview as a coherentstructureof sense. It originatesand remainsin the intersticesof the social structure,in the wideningprivate sphere,which it dramaticallyglorifiesin a varietyof themes. We mightsay that the new social form SOCIETY of religionis radically subjectivizedreligiosity. Returningto the questionwith which we started,"Whatis the impactof modern societyon the individual,"we would now suggestan answer: Modern society formsthe individual onlyminimallyinto a person,maximally into a performerof rationallyefficient institutionally determinedactions. Modern society is characterizedby certain gaps betweenthe institutions,as far as determinationof individuallife is concerned. The private sphere enlargesin consequenceand givesriseto the modern religiosityof the somewhatillusoryautonomousindividual. This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:22:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions