Browsing by Subject "christianity - conceptions"

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  • Jussila, Jonna (2000)
    The licentiate thesis studies young people's opinions on religion and God in the world, which is said to underline the meaning of relativism. The corpus is collected from the Helsingin Sanomat 'youngsters' opinion' column from 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Writings concerning religion are studied in the light of contemporary sociology and the sociology of religion. What has happened to religion in the process of modernization? Can theories of modernization interpret young people successfully? The corpus is mainly based on tough argumentation between religious and non-religious writers. Additionally, the writings of the 'open minded', and youngsters who 'have their own religion' have contributed important features to the corpus. The research questions focus on the substance of the argumentation: what are the arguments which youngsters use to support and refute religion like? I am also interested in the nature of privatised religion: does it exist in the writings and how can it be described from the point of view of selected sociologists? The approach to the study can be called 'society-analytical'. Anthony Giddens, Zygmunt Bauman, Gianni Vattimo, Thomas Luckmann and Harvie Ferguson are examples of theorists who function as 'research lences' in the study. Writings have been classified and components arising out of them are discovered and understood through the spectrum of the chosen theories. Writings are considered as youngsters' cultural speak about religion. On the other hand, colourful and powerful stories are expected to tell something new about the subject 'modern world and religion'. Wide modernization theory meets the most intimate views of youngsters concerning the changes in the world around us. The study shows how conflicting are the signals that contemporary culture can offer in matters religious. 'Movement' stems from many directions. Young writers opposing religion accuse religious writers of irrationality, lack of autonomy and intolerance. They think that in the contemporary context, autonomy can lead to a world of justice and tolerance. Religion has become incapable of sustaining the ends of good values. Religion is also experienced as something opposed to youth culture. It means abandoning the teenagers' way of life. The metaphors connected with religious people reflect this: weakness, oldness, and immaturity are seen to describe them well. On the other hand, seen through the eyes of other youngsters, the contemporary relative culture is experienced as anxious and meaningless. Many young writers have found the solution in traditional religion. Their writings work as descriptions of returning to the 'metaphysical ground'. When the world of choice appeared to be unbearable, the 'digging' of old religion has started. Christianity still has the function of bringing a sense of meaning to existence. Religion also plays a new role in the life of the young. Instead of dogmatism, the idea of rebuilt private religion lies in its ability to bring a sense of dimension, richness and exoticness to young people's life.