Что социология может сказать о монашестве? [What sociology has to say about monasticism]
The review analyses the international conference “Christian Monasticism from East to West: Monastic Traditions and Modernity in Europe”, organized in June 2015 by sociologists and theologians from the Universities of Graz (Austria), Turin (Italy), and Bucharest (Romania). The conference initiated a sociological reflection of different monastic traditions, and the role of monasteries in terms of the decline of trust in religious institutions. It raised the question of the dynamics of monasticism as a traditional institution in modern societies, not only in Europe, but also in Asia, Africa, and America. The scholarly discussion paid particular attention to the adaptation and resistance of religious traditions to social changes. Researchers from different countries have demonstrated the innovative potential of monasticism in the economic sphere (monasteries from different countries are pioneers in the development of the sector of organic products), the cultural sphere (the development of tourism and excursion services), and the religious sphere (the emergence of so-called “new religious communities”). Alongside traditional roles, monasteries have acquired new social roles. The secularization of the concept of “monasticism”, and its use in relation to the phenomenon of “consuming the tradition” apart from a religious context is stressed. The conference continued to develop the theme of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion. The position of a researcher and his or her professional identity, the issues of objectivity, and the idealization of the research subject are analyzed.