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Publication Details

Secularization as a Decay Process of the Structure of Religion

(Original title: Sekularizácia ako proces rozkladu štruktúry náboženstva)
Filozofia, 22 (1967), 5, 536-549.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
In the introduction o£ the present paper, the concept of the inneii structure of religion is being explained. Our interpretations of religion used up to now are shown to have been predominantly of global character. Thereby were created some wrong methodological starting points. There are different conceptions of religion. For the fundamental conception, the author takes that one which presupposes the following basic elements of religion: 1. doctrine (theoretical aspect), 2. cult (practical aspect), 3. institution (organizational aspect of religion). From the scientific viewpoint, it is important that the above conception can be empirically verified and rationally analysed. Each of those basic elements implies further functional elements. In the main part of the paper, the problem of the decay of the structure of religion as a result of principal historical changes of the social structure, as well as the problem of the secularization of the socialistic society are being solved. It is pointed 'out that a clear-cut weakening of the institutional forms of Christianity as a principle of mediation between man and God has taken place at present. With the scientific-technical progress, rationalization of life, unfoldment of Marxism as science on society, the explicative function of religion was reduced or entirely annulled. Religion is a complicated social phenomenon. According to the author, it contains a hierarchy of structures. It implies also a system, hierarchy of values. The crisis of the religion system of values is to be understood as an expression of the crisis of the basic social-spiritual values during transition from the old social structure to the new one — socialistic, as an expression of the change in the structure of social consciousness, as an expression of a further qualitative shift in the direction of the increase of number, meaning and function of secular elements in the life of society and individual, as an expression of spiritual maturing of man and loss of the need of a „higher“ patronage. In spite of these tendentions, vitality and strength of religion remains in its moral, value orientation. An urgent need follows from the above to elaborate an attractive model of spiritual values of socialistic man with sufficiently broad and open room for his many-sided, creative activity. A definitive overcoming of religion does not depend on criticism, „préaching“, moralizing, but mainly on the real humanism of the revolutionary practice.
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