Abstract English : Papers in this session may explore how religion is shaping demographic processes as well as how demographic processes are shaping religious populations. Gender and Religion: Correlates and Causes. In particular, this panel explains the association between religion and gender in terms of a wide range of issues such as family formation patterns including marriage, childbearing and fertility, separation and divorce, new and emerging forms of family formation like cohabitation etc.
This panel addresses such key questions as, but limited to, how gender and religion are correlated? What does happen to the association between religion and gender upon migration? From a comparative perspective, what are the effects of varying religions Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative papers with central focus on the association between religion and gender from cultural, economic, demographic and sociological perspectives.
Abstract French : Ce panel se concentre sur la place de la religion dans la dynamique de genre et le statut des femmes. Qu'advient-il de l'association entre religion et genre lors de la migration? Exporting faith: Migration and religion across countries. Abstract English : Between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, an influx of Europeans, Asians, and Arabic changed the face of the western world. Scholars of migration have examined the range of responses - some welcoming, some xenophobic - to the newcomers.
They also look at the lasting effects that immigrants had on the economic, sociocultural, and religious institutions. Although it is often forgotten, migratory processes are reversible. Countries of immigration became countries of emigration, and nations that traditionally have sent out large numbers of migrants became now receivers. As religion came to be accepted as an important mediator between immigrants and society, social scientists began to incorporate it into their analysis.
Abstract English : Two closely-related but not identical phenomena have grown lately in the Christian world: Philo-Semitism and Christian Zionism. Most growth has been among the evangelical and Pentecostal forms of Christianity mushrooming in much of the global south and which also play a growing role in otherwise struggling European Christianity.
Christian Philo-Semitism can take many forms: a diffuse fascination with Jews and Israel; adoption of Jewish rituals and vestments, often associated with recovering the Jewish origins of Christianity; sometimes even adherence to laws of the Hebrew scriptures or cultivation of a presumed Jewish descent. Christian Philo-Semitism and Christian Zionism appear to have diverse motivations, especially when straddling global north and south. While studies in the United States have been numerous, it has become increasingly obvious that these phenomena are much more widespread and diverse, and cannot be interpreted purely in American terms.
Papers might address, although they are not limited to: analytical approaches; ethnographies and case studies; transformations in Christian Philo-Semitic religious identities; Christian Zionism, international relations and the geopolitics of faith. Abstract English : This panel aims to open up works on the relations between the Churches and the State, while consolidating their empirical base from field surveys carried out with agents directly or indirectly engaged in the processes of secularization.
Indeed, studies on secularism often focus on normative systems, to the detriment of empirical and sociographic surveys about the actors themselves. How do the various actors, whether lay or religious, understand what secularism is? How do they take positions on the project, the movement and the challenge of keeping the religious norm at a distance from the legal and political regulation of life in society?
In the process, to what extent does their participation in the debate help to reconfigure the terms and, if so, to shape and reshape the idea of secularism? This panel proposes to reflect on these topics by gathering contributions that examine, in the most recent secular debates, as much in the evolution of positions and strategies of interest groups, whether traditional ones Catholics, Protestants, humanists, etc.
Moreover, it aims to identify the context of enunciation of these actors, who may evolve according to time, social factors or located contexts. Through this approach, this panel aims to contribute to building an internormative and sociohistorical sociology of secularism that would be attentive to the plurality of discourses on religion and secularism and their various mediations, whether they are legal or more broadly societal ones.
New dynamics of traditionally Catholic societies. Abstract English : Changes over the course of the 20th century in the way individuals relate to religion in majority-Catholic areas have had a profound impact on the collective conscience and on social scientific work. Nevertheless, too little effort has been made since towards an in-depth and longitudinal understanding of the nature and effects of these transformations. It remains difficult to explain why Catholic belonging persists among large portions of populations despite a decline in regular mass attendance and a rise in non-affiliation among younger birth cohorts across many countries and regions.
If the 20th century ushered in an era of cultural or ambivalent Catholicism, what is in store for the 21st century? Are we coming to the end of one religiosity regime and the beginning of another? If this is the case, then what shape will this new configuration take and how will its realities impact public debate? How do these realities compare with those in other non-Catholic societies? Developing a better understanding of the lived relationship individuals have with Catholicism is crucial not only for explaining societal debates surrounding religion in general, but also for explaining new forms of religious mobilization new movements, beliefs and practices, conversions, interfaith dialog, and so forth.
Therefore, the goal of this thematic session is to better identify the mutations at play, by analyzing both the changes in religiosity structures among individuals from religious affiliation to non-affiliation and the mobilization of new discourses and representations of Catholicism in political and cultural arenas.
All have conducted fieldwork in both Moscow and Los Angeles. In this sense, ecology contained an explicit reference to religion. The discussion raised by White's arguments, however, also incited a growing concern within Christian Churches and other religious institutions about ecological questions. Nowadays contemporary spirituality movements display a variety of articulations with ecology. A large number of ecological activists also openly reject a purely techno-scientific conception of ecology and are open to forms of "deep ecology" Naess These developments have been described as a "greening of religion" as well as a "spiritualisation of ecology".
Within the social sciences of religion, a large body of literature documents and discusses these developments. This panel invites papers describing and reflecting on developments in the field of religion and ecology, ranging from empirical studies to theoretical contributions. Intra-faith solidarity movements in a transnational world. This session aims to interrogate the reasons that lead to the formation of such networks, as well as the effects that they produce on the individual actors engaged within them and on those States which seek to facilitate or to appropriate their actions.
What motivates actors to engage in networks of transnational intra-faith solidarity? Does religious affiliation engender an effective sense of cultural proximity? Is the discourse of intra-religious solidarity sufficiently salient to overcome national and cultural barriers? What does this form of solidarity tell us about the national and religious identities of those who engage in such networks? Should these mobilisations be seen as contributing to the emergence of new transnational identifications within the context of globalisation? Or, on the contrary, do they contribute to revivifying existing national, religious, and ethnic identifications?
Proposals may also adopt a micro-focus trajectories of individual actors , meso-focus organisational analyses or macro-focus international relations , or a multi-scalar form of analysis. Religious Identities in Civil Society. The Cases of Germany and Switzerland. L'exemple de l'Allemagne et de la Suisse. Convener s : Prof. The project investigates which configurations of social identities are present in current societies and which effects on societal integration and social conflict they have in Germany and Switzerland.
The aim of the four interlinked German-Switzerland-parts of the project is to analyse current configurations of religious social identities with a focus on their sources, content and societal effects. Starting from a substantial notion of religion, the focus is on intermediate religious groups in civil society and the social identities formed by them. The concept, interaction of the project-parts, the theoretical frame and first empirical results will be presented to the larger scientific audience for the first time. Religious Diversity and Political Conflict in Europe.
Antonius Liedhegener Anastas Odermatt M. Abstract English : Religious Diversity and Political Conflict in Europe Revisited Religious Diversity is addressed frequently as a main driver for social and political conflict.
Europe in particular seems to witness new conflicts around religion and religious issues. The conflicts range from smaller yet harmful incidents to the use of religious identities in party competition to massive attacks by religiously motivated terrorism. Recent research did present many case studies, yet the overall picture is far from being clear.
The cases and countries investigated are too diverse. The thematic session wants to bring together relevant research on this highly relevant topic. It will address the following three arrays of questions: 1 How religiously diverse is Europe currently and did its religious diversity grow? The session follows an empirical and interdisciplinary approach. The proposed papers could be based on large n-comparisons or could deal with selected country cases or present case studies in a comparative manner.
Young people, Religion, Politics, and Education. Abstract English : Organized religion is currently experiencing profound generational change in Europe and the Anglophone world. Young people are increasingly identifying as non-religious. What does this mean for the sociology of religion and education? Political debates about religion, politics and education often exclude the voices of children and young people. Do young people still want to get educated about religion? What is the relevance of education about religion when increasingly young people are declaring themselves as having no faith?
What does this mean for future imaginings of education about religion? Through social media and digital cultures contemporary teenagers are exposed to diverse perspectives on religion, politics and education. How are their experiences mediated by where they go to school, their faith, their politics, their gender and sexual identity and their geographic location and ethnic identity? How is this shaping their worldviews? Education about gender, and sexuality is being weaponized by the recent resurgence of nationalism and populism in some European countries — take recent debates in Hungary over attempts to ban gender studies.
How are young people mobilized and mobilizing in these political struggles and what can this tell us about their changing worldviews? How do religious prescriptions of normative gender and sexualities in education become proxies for broader political debates about young people and education? Les jeunes veulent-ils toujours apprendre le fait religieux? Comment ces facteurs forment-ils les visions du monde des jeunes? Theoretical approaches to the social sciences from the field work on religion and spirituality in the global South.
Mitsutoshi Horii, Shumei University. Abstract English : The analysis of religious and spiritual diversity, in the context of the inequalities and diversities that characterize the contemporary world, implies, more than ever, to assume the research process as a situated practice, in which theories and concepts are put to the test from the particularities or from the intersectional perspectives that are revealed in the field work. In this thematic session, we propose to take up the commitment of the grounded theory to revisit concepts and theories of the social sciences and to give way to new keys of analysis on the religious phenomenon from the field works carried out in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
In the global South, political crises and structural processes related to socio-economic vulnerability, discrimination, inter-ethnic conflicts and stigma often intersect with religious or spiritual beliefs and belongings, as embodied practices, that defy the investigative gaze inviting the generation of new theoretical categories, the redefinition of old theoretical frameworks and the updating of classic concepts. We invite researchers and undergraduate and graduate students to present papers that seek to rethink the link between research practice in the field and a theoretical construction from and for the South-South dialogue.
We are particularly interested in researches that develop deep field works ethnographies, analysis of statistical sources, interviews, analysis of discourses that seek to understand, from the social sciences, the ways in wich the sacred is built and its anchorage in daily life, in political, economic and social life in the global South.
The Public Role of Religion. Three schools of thought were formed. The first: the renewed public role of religions demonstrates the fallacy of the theory of secularization; we have entered post-secular age. The third: the public role of religion is not a return of the sacred, nor a revival of religious effervescence, since the two processes of individualization of religious choices and religious deregulation are not stopped. Therefore, speaking on public role of the religious, we refer to three domains of social action by religious groups.
The strictly political domain, which openly directly challenged the political form of the modern secular state, in alliance with new political parties of religious inspiration or in struggle against ruling elites or, ultimately, researching compromise with these elites to try to alter the power structures from within. The strictly public domain, with the struggle for the recognition and the affirmation of a socio-religious actor capable of orientating and shaping the public opinion in terms of ethical choices that could be considered valid for the whole of society, and in using the potential of old and new media, in order to participate in public debate.
Finally, the modern politics of identity that seek to mobilize religious codes and narratives for constructing and reconstructing the national identity. Spiritual transformation and political engagement. Transformation spirituelle et engagement politique. Taking this observation as a point of departure, this session focuses on the reciprocal impact of spiritual transformation and political engagement in Europe and beyond.
How does the dialectics of external categorization and internal identification Jenkins play into this association? What role does ideology play in this mechanism? How does it function in migration situations? Studies that deal, in one way or another, with the dialectics of spiritual transformation and political engagement — be it empirical quantitative or qualitative or theoretical contributions — are most welcome.
Debates related to human rights, gender identity and individual freedom are at the core of interactions between religion, politics and civil society. The issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are also addressed from within religious organizations, such as the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, the evangelical milieu or the Russian Orthodox Church human rights document From Washington to Moscow, going though Paris, Vatican, Warsaw or Bucharest, new alliances are being made in order to preserve or to reestablish the religious interpretation of gender and human rights e.
Lobbying in national parliaments or international institutions European Court of Human Rights, Supreme Court of the USA , organizing public manifestations and international meetings, collecting signatures to amend the Constitution and advocating in support of conservative candidates are among the most important sources of mobilization. What are the main characteristics of these types of mobilization in national and international contexts? Pope Francis, Religious Authority and the Media.
Convener s : Carlo Nardella, University of Milan,. Abstract English : In the information age, religious institutions continuously work to cultivate the charismatic appeal of leaders, chiefly through the press and social network feeds. This media work is most notable in relation to the institutional media efforts surrounding the Pope, given his authority in a hierarchal and well-established religious organization.
Since his initial blessing to Rome and the world, Pope Francis has interacted with the media by introducing continuity and discontinuity between himself and recent predecessors. Contributions may concern but are not limited to the study of the ways in which traditional and new media, in different countries, shape the Pope's communication, the mechanisms through which this occurs and its consequences.
To leave or to stay. Transition to adulthood and religious belonging. Partir ou rester. Abstract English : This session proposal will explore the outcomes of religious socialization across countries and religious traditions. The religious socialization process experienced in families has been scrutinized as the main factor responsible for the failure or success of faith transmission.
Less attention has been paid to other key elements: e. Politics and economics of monasticism. Abstract English : Monasticism come out from the utopic separation from the world and from the distanciation from the Church institution. Nevertheless monasteries had and still have many relations with the societies thanks to their pastoral, social, educational, economical and broadly understood political agendas.
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While in some societies the monasteries are understood as the incarnation of the tradition, in others the monasteries bring new fresh ideas and different innovations. We invite papers analysing the complex ties the monasteries had in past and have today with the local as well as with global societies. What is the position of the monasteries in these networks? Which position do they wish to have and which is ascribed to them?
What kind of power circulates in these networks? Heidemarie Winkel, Bielefeld University, Prof. Annette Schnabel, University of Duesseldorf, Dr. Melanie Reddig, University of Duesseldorf,. Abstract English : Religion and religiosity are contextually contingent social phenomena; this concerns the ways in which religion is for example experienced, known and understood in politically diverse settings worldwide or how religion structures the perception and orientation of actors in socio-politically varying and transculturally changing environments, and finally how religion can be communicated in diverse socio-political settings and in shifting social realities, like for example against the backdrop of global migration.
In this session we invite for theoretical and empirically based contributions that understand and examine religion as a socially shifting knowledge category that can be conceptualized a macro-sociologically as a contextually contingent and contested body of knowledge in motion for example religious doctrines, contextual and other theologies, social teachings etc. We welcome papers that understand religion in different analytical ways as a globally shifting, contextual knowledge category. This can be exemplified by manifold empirical research fields like religion and the nation state, political religion, religious gender politics, global religious movements and their local expressions etc.
Some related questions are: how are religion and religiosity known, understood and communicated as well as practiced in varying societal environments? Which permanent forms of knowledge does religion assume over time in shifting contexts? Quelles formes de savoir permanents la religion assume-t-elle au fil du temps dans des contextes changeants? Current Concerns in Parish and Congregational Research. Abstract English : Researchers from several countries will present research findings on some current concerns in parish and congregational life, especially those that relate to the conference theme of the politics of religion and spirituality.
A discussion of differences and similarities across countries will be encouraged. Criminalization of religion in contexts of authoritarian democracies: a compared perspective from Latin America and the Middle-East. Abstract English : In many countries throughout the world, criminalization of social movements is a powerful tool used by governments use to restrict civil and political rights.
The State criminalizes by means of new laws and measures that render illegal democratic behaviours such as public demonstrations, as well as by using discourses that target activists —sometimes with morality-based accusations- and thus exposes them to further violence.
Recent studies show that these criminalization practices are very intense in two regions of the world renowned for both the democratic activism and the religious vitality of important segments of their populations: Latin America and the Middle-East. Highly visible in the democratic initiatives and decolonization struggles of Indigenous and Afro-descendant movements in Latin America, as well as in the Arab Springs and anti-authoritarian struggles in the Middle-East, this democratic vitality is targeted by many governments and actors that strive to impose low-intensity democracies.
Within these, the persistent accusations against religion —or non-hegemonic forms of religions- such as Indigenous religious mobilizations or popular martyrs cults, are also part of the powerful discursive device of criminalization. Thus, the power relations between politics and religion must be addressed in contexts where there seems to be a resurgence and intensification of authoritarian practices, while right-wing populism is rising in other parts of the world. Au sein de ces derniers. Contemporary Religiosities and Sociological Diagnoses in the West.
Abstract English : The aim of this session is to explore contemporary religiosities in modern Western societies and to ask in what way these religiosities can be used as a source for sociological diagnoses of the West. In order to do so, we propose to understand religion as one of the permanent forces shaping a society and religiosity as a mode of subjectivity and an anthropological constant varying in time and space. Against this background, we ask in how far particular forms of religiosity might be 'typical' for current Western societies.
Some possible questions could be: What can we learn about current politics of identity, when many of the so-called "Nones" describe themselves as "spiritual, but not religious"? Using these questions as an inspiration, the panel is most open to empirical topics. However, papers should focus on the so-called "Western World" in order to have a straightforward confrontation of empirical studies with sociological diagnoses. Religion, spirituality and the dynamics of class relations. Convener s : Rachel Werczberger, Ariel University.
Dana Kaplan, Open University of Israel. Abstract English : Class has always been a key issue for sociologists of religion. As of late, the "death of class" thesis and the hyper-individualization understanding of post-industrial societies have been replaced with a resurgent class-related scholarship.
Still, while many studies of current spiritualities do take a critical approach, exploring the commodification and instrumentalization of spirituality, they lack sustained accounts of the class relations that underpin these processes. This session takes the renewed sociological interest in class and the significance of class-analysis in the sociology of religion as its point of departure.
The panel will explore how class and religious or spiritual non -affiliations interact in post-secular societies. Specifically, we are interested in papers that investigate the mutual constitution of class locations and subjectivities and religious institutions, inclinations and sensibilities, whether in new religious movements and spiritualities, or established ones. We ask: in what ways do class habitus and acts of distinction play out in religious fields?
How is spiritual capital converted to other forms of capital and what is the role of religious ritualizing in these processes? Veronique Altglas will be the discussant for the selected papers. Quelles sont les croyances et les pratiques religieuses des riches? Secularism as social movement. Abstract English : Secularism as social movement There are secularist groups all over the world. Secularism, Atheism, humanist activism or related movements are, however, only to a limited extent a global phenomenon.
With reference to recent debates and studies: Even if especially in the West a new narrative of religious criticism has formed, these groups sometimes differ considerably from region to region. The aim of this session is to work these differences out by describing and comparing specific groups — with regard to the following or other aspects: - Social structure: How do specific secularist groups differ from overall population?
Participants are invited to present results and work in progress from both quantitative and qualitative studies as well as from historical and mixed method approaches. The Social Construction of Reality and the sociology of religion. Berger and Thomas Luckmann marked a turning point in the discipline attracting great interest worldwide and generating multiple readings among different audiences. However, the fact that Berger and Luckmann, both being themselves sociologists of religion, were holding different views on the subject, has somewhat hidden the relevance of their theoretical perspective for reflecting upon and researching religion today.
By taking "The Social Construction of Reality" as a point of departure, this panel aims to discuss the impact of the book within the sociology of religion. It is a major study for sociology of religion scholars in Central and Eastern Europe and the next ISSR conference will offer the opportunity to critically discuss and debate several chapters of the report. Together with one of the authors of the study from the Pew Research Center tbc , speakers will join the panel tbc.
Religion and gender: on defensive and reflexive developments in religious contexts. There is the observation that religious contexts are at least numerically dominated by women and are therefore also an important site for studying female agency. There are the challenges to western feminist notions of the liberal subject that have emerged from in-depth ethnographic research on women in religious contexts notably the work of Saba Mahmood.
There are numerous studies that highlight how religious actors have moved forward feminist causes and contributed to rethinking gender relations in daily life and religious life. Yet, the present-day political landscape undeniably shows that religious constituencies and institutional actors are mobilized for a reactionary agenda when it comes to the position of women and sexual minorities. This panel calls for papers that can contribute to a conversation on these contradictory movements. Ainsi, ce panel invite des contributions qui permettraient de discuter autour de ces mouvements contradictoires.
Secular Society, spiritual selves? Gendering the overlaps and boundaries between religion, spirituality and secularity volume edited by Anna Fedele and Kim Knibbe. This volume pulls together ethnographic research to address how the overlaps and differentiations between spirituality, secularity and religion are gendered.
In this volume we further develop our analysis taking into account also the secular and we address the following questions: Is spirituality not simply secularized and privatized religion? Does it ever challenge the secular frame, and if so, how? Can spirituality be political? And if spirituality is privatized religion, is this also feminized religion? How does the gendered boundary between public and private domains intersect with the boundaries between spirituality, religion and secularity? How do spiritual practitioners mind or challenge these boundaries? The marketization of religion: transnational and global developments.
Abstract English : An emerging trend in the social scientific study of religion is to consider the multifarious ways in which ongoing processes of marketization are shaping the contemporary religious field. Supplying a perspective distanced from earlier theoretical perspectives on secularization, Rational Choice and post-secularity, the marketization approach highlights the ever-growing influence of economics and market ideologies on globalizing societies and cultures worldwide. This panel follows and expands on the work already initiated by the organizers on the effects of neoliberalism, market ideologies, and the ethos of consumerism on the contemporary religious field.
While the panel is devoted to the proliferation of market values, imperatives, and strategies within both the institutional religious field as well as in relation to religious phenomena at large, it especially welcomes proposals with a global focus that seek to move beyond the limitations of methodological nationalism. The panel thus especially welcomes contributions focusing on issues relating to the effects of marketization on religion and religious life in contexts of the Global South: Asia, Africa, Near-East, Ex-Soviet Bloc, South America and the First Nations.
Inter-religious relations. Abstract English : This panel centers on the inter-textuality between religious texts, groups and more broadly inter-religious relations. Relations between religions do obviously range from peaceful co-existence and cooperation to religious war. What is less obvious, is however what determines this inter-religious relation and how the inter-religious dynamic is played out in history. The aim of the panel is to explore possibilities of different approaches, empirical as well as theoretical.
In addition to the inter-religious relation between religions, the participants are encouraged to include accounts of inter-religious transmission of religious ideas processes that generally have been known as syncretism etc. Abstract French : Ce panel portera sur les relations entre les textes religieux et les groupes religieux. Mobility, ritual and public space. Transnational Catholic scenarios in large cities. Abstract English : Contemporary migration phenomena have profoundly reconfigured society. One of the areas influenced by this complex phenomenon corresponds to religiosity and public space, where we may contemplate the emergence of massive and animated transnational cults of Catholic origin the procession of the Lord of Miracles or the worship of the Virgin of Guadalupe, to cite only two examples.
These forms of worship firstly can be understood by referring to their national context. However, their understanding should be focused on a dual dynamic which acts simultaneously: from their original society towards the host society and vice versa. In this new context the spatial dimension becomes a privileged scenario in which to manifest worship that has been adapted, indicating the revitalization of new identities and global religious pluralism.
Moreover, while the city is constantly being redefined through a series of ritual practices, it is these same practices that constitute the basis of a new religiosity. Accepting this as a frame of reference, this panel seeks to bring together researchers interested in exposing, analyzing and discussing research work on Catholic manifestations carried out by migrants in public spaces in large cities. The politics of religious diversity: the case of chaplaincy. Convener s : Kees de Groot Tilburg University. Abstract English : The institutional dynamics of chaplaincy depends first on the institutional setting involved, such as care institutions, schools, the army, prison, and the police, and secondly on the religious composition of the societal context, in particular the arrangements between state and organized religion.
In religiously homogenous countries chaplaincy is often dominated by a particular church that finds itself challenged to dealing with people with other worldviews. In heterogeneous countries, chaplaincy may have evolved into an institution linked with a variety of religious, spiritual or humanistic agencies. Chaplaincy may also transform into spiritual counseling operating in a market-context. This session seeks to gather and compare cases of dealing with religious diversity in order to refine the typology mentioned above and to explain similarities and differences between the various institutional dynamics.
The Liquidation of the Church. Abstract English : In this publication, the Dutch sociologist of religion Kees de Groot argues that the assets and properties of institutionalized religion in Western societies are redistributed: large parts of the church have gone into liquidation. Religion is crossing the boundaries of the parish and appears in other social contexts. In the fields of leisure, health care and contemporary culture, religion has an unexpected currency. The metaphor of liquidation is supposed to provide an alternative to approaches that merely perceive the decline of religion or a spiritual revolution.
By examining a number of case studies in the Netherlands and beyond, including World Youth Day, television, spiritual centers, chaplaincy, mental healthcare, museums and theatre, this book claims to develop a fresh way to look at religion in late modernity and to produce new questions for debate. Critics from sociology and anthropology of religion will discuss the content with the author. Religion in Comics. Abstract English : Comics, that is: narratives using static images, are often used to convey religious propaganda eg. Religious motives also occur in mainstream comics, such as Catholic morality and imagery in Tintin, the Muslim superhero in the new Ms.
Marvel series, or a religious calling in the graphic novel Blankets. Also intriguing is the strong commitment to reading, discussing, and studying comics, both individually and collectively, including on mega-events called Comic Cons, where visitors dress up as characters from comics, games, and movies. Here, the research theme approaches the domain of the study of fiction-based religion. In contrast, the portrayal of religion in comics and cartoons is sometimes met with vehement political protest. How is religion represented in comics and graphic novels?
How are religious comics culturally produced in the interplay between publishers, authors, distribution companies, webhosts and booksellers? How can the reception of these cultural artefacts be analyzed from a sociological perspective? Whereas a certain tradition in the study of religion in films has been established, the social-scientific study of religion in comics is lagging behind. This session is meant to give an impetus to this upcoming theme, inviting papers using various methods and approaches.
Social Theory and Religion 1. Abstract English : The theme of this session is social theory and religion. A common narrative of the relation between social theory and religion is that classical social theory tended to include religion as a topic, while it disappeared in much of 20th century theory, only to reappear among some social theorists in the early 21st century.
At the same time, the sociology of religion developed its own sets of theories that were largely ignored by social theorists. This session seeks to explore the relation between social theory and religion. It wants to challenge the largely accepted narrative outlined above and inspire debates on these issues.
How has religion been theorized in modern social theory, and how is it theorized among social theorists today? Sociologists of religion use a wide variety of social theories in their work. How have sociologists of religion develop social theory further? The assumption is often that social theory affects the sociology of religion, but a question asked here is how developments in the sociology of religion have affected social theory?
Papers are invited that offer critical perspectives on these and related issues that will further the debate on the relation between social theory and religion. Religious configurations and transformation in Latin America. Abstract English : Religion in the public space constitutes a structuring issue of the contemporary debates of the social sciences of religion. The thematic session aims to reflect on such discussions, circumscribing them to the Latin American context.
In this attempt, it seeks to address the historical and political configurations of the region. The proposal is to explore regional particularities for an effort to theoretically and methodologically strengthen the analysis of this topic. To do this, it invites to analyze concrete empirical situations in which religion in public space is condensed as a controversy, that mobilize and is mobilized by different actors: politicians, religious, academics, media.
New Developments in the Study of Culturalized Religion. Interest in this topic derives, in large part, from developments that have underscored the ongoing salience of religion as a signpost of cultural and national identity — even among the non-religious — and the continued prominence of religious symbols and traditions in secularizing societies. In Europe and North America, controversies over Islam and its perceived in compatibility with Judeo-Christian norms and values have led to the re-emergence of religion as a central aspect of nationalist rhetoric and mobilization.
Discourses that frame religion as a core element of national cultural heritage have played a pivotal role in several recent judicial rulings on the presence of religious symbols such as the crucifix in secular public institutions and spaces. In a number of post-socialist societies, formerly suppressed religious traditions have resurfaced as a cornerstone of citizenship and national belonging.
This session welcomes papers that engage with these issues in new and innovative ways. Abstract English : Several pioneer studies on religion and globalization highlighted the expansion modes of world religions and their processes of local indigenization through missionary activity, colonial conquests, or the territorial expansion system of the churches' organizational structures and universal religions. Researchers have long recognized that these types of religious dissemination were mainly the outcome of centripetal forces of directional flows.
At the present time, we can identify more diverse processes anchored in a general religious dispersion stimulated by migrations, temporary flows and contra-flows of meaning, digital preaching strategies and the creation of pluri-directional religious circuits. Since a long time ago, the religious landscape of LatinAmerica has become deeply diverse.
We welcome proposals from a large variety of topics: Catholic Latin American missionaries in the Middle East, Brazilian Pentecostal churches in other Southern Cone countries, Africa and Europe; indigenous communities of converts to Islam, communities and South American religious organizations receiving refugees with different religious background, transcultural missionary actions, pilgrimages and religious touristic circuits. We are particularly interested in research using ethnographic methods and in conceptual debates about these subjects.
Religion towards Migration. Moreover, several studies prove the importance of religious aspects in the migratory experience as bridging social capital. On the other hand, other researchers find religion can be either a factor of separation or a bonding social capital. Consequently, religiosity of migrants, who are understood as homogeneous ethno-cultural groups, works as an important factor of self-esteem and identity or a buffer against the threat of assimilation and furthermore as a barrier to social adaptation.
In the social context of the immigration countries, our assignment is to discuss several aspects of theories from the field of sociology of religion as following: social insecurity vs. Abstract English : This thematic session has the aim to discuss the relations between the State, alternative health practitioners, and the users of their services.
Unconventional ways of treatment are in some cases perceived with skepticism and rejected by the State, in some others are seen as complementary forms of treatment and in unique cases are integrated into the official health systems. In the first case, the purpose is to analyze the mechanisms and statements underlying the disapproval of alternative health practices.
In the second one, the objective is to understand the complementary perspectives on health treatments and their development. In the latter case, the idea is to discuss the State role either referring specific health problems to alternative forms of treatment or integrating them into the official health system. The multiple ways of analyzing this topic include at the micro level, the focus on health services users who combine spiritual, religious and clinical practices, at an intermediary level, the tensions or agreements in between health practitioners, and at the macro level, the State regulation among religious and medical fields in terms of health.
Catholicism and Global Challenges. Convener s : Tricia C. Abstract English : Modern religious dynamics are characterized by pluralization more than the linear decline of religiosity Berger Religious faith emerges as one option among multiple world views Taylor Religious institutions are confronted with social individualization Beck , producing new religious fields that make space for lived religion McGuire ; Ammerman Comparative global perspectives, moreover, give rise to competing narratives of religion in modernity.
From this perspective, participants in this session will discuss changes and challenges within Catholicism in the s. Catholicism is, on the one hand, coping with a strong de-institutionalization process Hervieu-Leger ; Casanova, Taylor, McLean and, on the other, reestablishing its power through new pastoral strategies and innovations spawned by changing cultural contexts Lefebvre, Perez-Agote , Dillon Surviving documents tell us that he was released from his vows a few years later. He is known to have studied, and later, taught law at the University of Toulouse during the s.
Bodin was unable to obtain a professorship at the university, and this may have driven him away from Toulouse and academic life. During the s, he worked as an advocate at the Parlement of Paris.
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Bodin settled in Laon during the last two decades of his life. The duke aspired to marry Queen Elizabeth of England. Following the death of his brother-in-law, Bodin succeeded him in office as procureur du roi, or Chief Public Prosecutor, for Laon in Bodin wrote two notable works toward the end of his life; his Colloquium of the Seven about Secrets of the Sublime Colloquium heptaplomeres de rerum sublimium arcanis abditis is an engaging dialogue in favor of religious tolerance.
He was given a Catholic burial in the Franciscan church of Laon. His desire to elaborate a system and to synthesize all existing knowledge is easily detectable in the Methodus. The first four chapters of the Methodus are largely a discussion concerning methodology. History and its different categories are defined in Chapter One.
Chapters II and III discuss the order in which historical accounts are to be read, and the correct order for arranging all material. Reading should begin from the earliest times of recorded history and the reader should naturally progress towards more recent times. In order to obtain a thorough comprehension of the whole, certain other subjects — cosmography, geography, chorography, topography and geometry — are to be associated with the study of history. All material should be critically assessed; the background and training of historians must be taken into account, as well as their qualifications.
In order, then, that the truth of the matter may be gleaned from histories, not only in the choice of individual authors but also in reading them we must remember what Aristotle sagely said, that in reading history it is necessary not to believe too much or disbelieve flatly … If we agree to everything in every respect, often we shall take true things for false and blunder seriously in administering the state. But if we have no faith at all in history, we can win no assistance from it.
Bodin , Furthermore, Bodin refutes the error of those who claim the independent origin of races. The final chapter of the Methodus contains a bibliography of universal history. There are three kinds of history, Bodin writes; divine, natural and human. The Methodus is an investigation into the third type, that is, the study of human actions and of the rules that govern them.
Science is not concerned with particulars but with universals. Bodin therefore considers as absurd the attempts of jurisconsults to establish principles of universal jurisprudence from Roman decrees or, more generally, from Roman law, thus giving preference to one legal tradition. Roman law concerns the legislation of one particular state — and the laws of particular states are the subject of civil law—and as such change within a brief period of time. The correct study of law necessitates a different approach, one that was already described by Plato: the correct way to establish law and to govern a state is to bring together and compare the legal framework of all the states that have existed, and compile the very best of them.
Indeed, in history the best part of universal law lies hidden; and what is of great weight and importance for the best appraisal of legislation — the custom of the peoples, and the beginnings, growth, conditions, changes, and decline of all states — are obtained from it. The chief subject matter of this Method consists of these facts, since no rewards of history are more ample than those usually gathered around the governmental form of states. Bodin , 8. Bodin writes that there are four kinds of interpreters of law.
The most skilled among them are those who are. Bodin was not the first to discuss the topic; he owes much to classical authors like Livy, Hippocrates, Aristotle and Tacitus, who are referenced by Bodin himself. He also borrows from his contemporaries—especially historians, travelers, and diplomats — like Commines, Machiavelli, Copernicus, and Jean Cardan.
Bodin believed that climate and other geographical factors influence, although they do not necessarily determine, the temperament of any given people. Accordingly, the form of state and legislation needs to be adapted to the temperament of the people, and the territory that it occupies. The earliest version is in Chapter Five of the Methodus.
Although this passage contains the general principles of the theory, Bodin does not relate them to contemporary politics. According to Bodin, no one who has written about states has ever considered the question of how to adapt the form of a state to the territory where it is situated near the sea or the mountains, etc. Bodin holds that, amid the uncertainty and chaos of human history, natural influences provide us with a sure criterion for historical generalization.
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These stable and unchanging natural influences have a dominant role in molding the personality, physique, and historical character of peoples Brown , Racial peculiarities, the influence of the planets and Pythagorean numbers were all part of Renaissance Platonism. Bodin combined these ideas with geographic determinism that closely followed the theories of Hippocrates and Strabo. Bodin , xiii. Ptolemy divided the world into arctic, temperate, and tropic zones. In adopting the Ptolemaic zones Bodin divided earth into areas of thirty degrees from the equator northward.
Different peoples have their capabilities and weaknesses. Southern people are contemplative and religious by nature; they are wise but lack in energy. Northern people, on the other hand, are active and large in stature, but lack in sagaciousness. The people of the South are intellectually gifted and thus resemble old men while the Northern people, because of their physical qualities, remind us of youth.
Those that live in between these two regions—the men of the temperate zone—lack the excesses of the previous two, while being endowed with their better qualities. They may therefore be described as men in middle life—prudent and therefore gifted to become executives and statesmen. They are the Aristotelian mean between two extremes. The superiority of this third group is stressed by Bodin throughout his writings. Significant differences exist between the French and Latin versions of the text.
Translations into other languages soon followed: Italian , Spanish , German , and English The Monarchomach writers called for tyrannicide and considered it the role of the magistrates and the Estates General to limit the sovereign power of the ruler, and that this power be initially derived from the people.
The first is an introduction found in all French editions. The second is a prefatory letter in Latin that appears in the French editions from onwards. The third preface is an introduction to the Latin editions. These three prefaces were an opportunity for Bodin to defend his work against writers who had attacked it. In the second book, Bodin discusses different types of states democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy and concludes that there cannot exist a mixed state.
In Chapter Five, Bodin examines the conditions under which a tyrant, that is, an illegitimate ruler who does not possess sovereign power, may be rightfully killed. A legitimate monarch, on the other hand, may not be resisted by his subjects — even if he should act in a tyrannical manner. Book Three discusses the different parts of the state: the senate and its role, the role of magistrates and their relationship to sovereign power, and the different degrees of authority among magistrates. Colleges, corporations and universities are also defined and considered.
The origin, flourishing and decline of states, and the reasons that influence these changes are the subject of Book Four. Book Five begins with an exposition of the Theory of Climate: laws of the state and the form of government are to be adapted to the nature of each people. Bodin then discusses the climatic variations between the North and South, and how these variations affect the human temperament.
Chapter Four is a comparison of the three forms of state; Bodin argues that royal, or hereditary, as opposed to elective monarchy is the best form of state. The Salic law, or law of succession to the throne, is discussed: Bodin holds that the rule of women is against divine, natural, and human law.
The Salic law, together with a law forbidding alienation of the public domain, called Agrarian law in the Methodus Bodin , p. Geometric, arithmetic, and harmonic justice are explained, as well as their relation to the different forms of state. A strong Platonic influence may be detected in the final chapter of the work: a wise ruler establishes harmony within the commonwealth, just as God has established harmony in the universe he has created.
Every individual has their proper place and purpose in the commonwealth. A person to whom sovereignty is given for a certain period of time, upon the expiration of which they once again become private citizens, cannot be called sovereign. When sovereign power is given to someone for a certain period of time, the person or persons receiving it are but the trustees and custodians of that power, and the sovereign power can be removed from them by the person or persons that are truly sovereign.
But it behoveth him that is a soveraigne not to be in any sort subiect to the commaund of another … whose office it is to give laws unto his subiects, to abrogat laws unprofitable, and in their stead to establish other: which hee cannot do that is himselfe subiect unto laws, or to others which have commaund over him. And that is it for which the law saith, That the prince is acquitted from the power of the laws[. The other prerogatives include declaring war and making peace, hearing appeals in the last instance, instituting and removing the highest officers, imposing taxes on subjects or exempting them, granting pardons and dispensations, determining the name, value, and measure of the coinage, and finally, requiring subjects to swear their loyalty to their sovereign prince.
Sovereignty and its defining marks or attributes are indivisible, and supreme power within the commonwealth must necessarily be concentrated on a single person or group of persons. Bodin argues that the first prerogative of a sovereign ruler is to give law to subjects without the consent of any other individual. In such a case, Bodin argues, no one can be called a subject, since all have power to make law. Additionally, no one would be able to give laws to others, since law-givers would be forced to receive law from those upon whom they wish to impose laws. The state would, therefore, be popular or democratic.
Bodin writes that there is a great difference between law Lat. Law is the command of a sovereign prince, that makes use of his power, while right implies that which is equitable. A right connotes something with a normative content; law, on the other hand, has no moral content or normative implications.
Bodin writes:. We must presuppose that this word Law , without any other addition, signifieth The right command of him or them, which have soveraigne power above others, without exception of person : be it that such commaundement concerne the subiects in generall, or in particular: except him or them which have given the law.
Howbeit to speake more properly, A law is the command of a Soveraigne concerning all his subiects in generall : or els concerning generall things, as saith Festus Pompeius , as a privilege concerneth some one, or some few[. Although the sovereign prince is not bound by civil law—neither by the laws of his predecessors, which have force only as long as their maker is alive, unless ratified by the new ruler, nor by his own laws—he is not free to do as he pleases, for all earthly princes have the obligation to follow the law of God and of nature.
Absolute power is power to override ordinary law, but all earthly princes are subject to divine and natural laws, Bodin writes. Regarding the difference between contracts and laws, Bodin writes that the sovereign prince is subject to the just and reasonable contracts that he has made, and in the observation of which his subjects have an interest, whilst laws obligate all subjects but not the prince. A contract between a sovereign prince and his subjects is mutually binding and it obligates both parties reciprocally. The prince, therefore, has no advantage over the subject on this matter.
The first one is the Salic law, or the law of succession to the throne. The Salic law guarantees the continuity of the crown, and determines the legitimate successor see Franklin , Chapter 5. If the domain is alienated, this signifies lesser income to the crown, and possibly increased taxation upon the citizens. Fundamental laws are annexed and united to the crown, and therefore the sovereign ruler cannot infringe them.
But should the prince decide to do so, his successor can always annul that which has been done in prejudice of the fundamental laws of the realm. Finally, Bodin derives from both natural law and the Old Testament that the sovereign prince may not take the private property of his subjects without their consent since this would mean violating the law of God and of nature. The only exception to the rule, the just causes that Bodin refers to in this passage, concern situations where the very existence of the commonwealth is threatened.
In such cases, public interest must be preferred over the private, and citizens must give up their private property in order to guarantee the safety and continuing existence of the commonwealth. It is from this principle regarding the inviolability of private property that Bodin derives that new taxes may not be imposed upon citizens without their consent.
Bodin holds that sovereignty cannot be divided — it must necessarily reside in one person or group of persons. Having shown that sovereignty is indivisible, Bodin moves on to refute the widely accepted political myth of the Renaissance that the Polybian model of a mixed state was the optimal form of state. Contrary to the opinions of Polybius, Aristotle, and Cicero, Bodin writes that there are only three types of state or commonwealth: monarchy, where sovereignty is vested with one person, aristocracy, where sovereignty is vested with a minority, and democracy, where sovereignty is vested in all of the people or a majority among them.
It is with the help of historical and modern examples, most notably of Rome and Venice, that Bodin shows that the states that were generally believed to possess a mixed regime were not really so. Even though Bodin refuses the idea that there be more than three types of commonwealth, he is willing to accept that there is a variety of governments - that is, different ways to govern the state. The way that the state is governed in no way alters its form nor its structure.
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Discussion concerning the difference between the form of state and government is found in Book Two. Bodin remarks that despite the importance of the question, no one before him has ever addressed it. All monarchies, aristocracies and popular states are either tyrannical, despotic, or legitimate i. These are not different species of commonwealth, Bodin observes, but diverse ways of governing the state. Tyrannical monarchy is one in which the sovereign ruler violates the laws of God, oppresses his subjects and treats their private property as his own.
Tyrannical monarchy must not be confused with despotic monarchy, Bodin writes. Finally, royal or legitimate monarchy is one in which the subjects obey the laws of the sovereign prince, and the prince in his turn obeys the laws of God and of nature; natural liberty and the right to private property are secured to all citizens. Bodin is recognized today as one of the earliest advocates of the abolition of slavery. For him, slavery was a universal phenomenon in the sense that slaves exist in all parts of the world, and slavery was widely accepted by the droit des gens.
Bodin writes that there are difficulties concerning slavery that have never been resolved. But if we are to consider the question according to commonly received opinions, thus allowing ourselves to be less concerned with philosophical arguments, we will soon understand that slavery is unnatural and contrary to human dignity. Thirdly, slavery is against human dignity, because of the countless indescribable humiliations that slaves have been forced to suffer.
Bodin relies on a historical narrative to prove that slavery is incompatible with a stable commonwealth Herrel , Thus, in the following passage, he states:. Wherefore seeing it is proved by the examples of so many worlds of years, so many inconveniences of rebellions, servile warres, conspiracies eversions and changes to have happened unto Commonweals by slaves; so many murthers, cruelties, and detestable villanies to have bene committed upon the persons of slaves by their lords and masters: who can doubt to affirme it to be a thing most pernitious and daungerous to have brought them into a Commonweale; or having cast them off, to receive them againe?
The Response is an analysis of the reasons for the significant and continuous price rises that afflicted sixteenth century Europe. It is in this work that Bodin is said to have given one of the earliest formulations of the Quantity Theory of Money. In its most elementary form, the Quantity Theory of Money is the affirmation that money supply directly affects price levels. High inflation was rampant in sixteenth century Europe. It began in Spain, and soon spread to its neighboring states. This was mainly due to the increase in the quantity of precious metals, namely silver and gold, that were brought by boat to Europe from the Spanish colonies in the New World.
In , the Chambre des Comptes de Paris decided to investigate the reasons for inflation, and the results of the investigation were published in in a study entitled The Paradoxes of the Seigneur de Malestroit on the Matter of Money. Malestroit held that the price rises are simply changes in the unit of account that have been occasioned by debasement, and that prices of precious metals have remained constant for three hundred years.
Bodin, however, cast doubt on the fact whether velvet was even known in France at such an early period.
Jean Bodin (c. 1529—1596)
Secondly, Bodin was able to demonstrate that debasement alone did not explain the reasons for such major and significant price rises; while debasement was one of the factors that had occasioned such inflation, it was far from being the principal cause. Of these five causes, Bodin considered the abundance of precious metals to be the most important.
Seven possible sources of income are listed. These are: 1 Public domain; 2 Profits of conquests; 3 Gifts from friends; 4 Tributes from allies; 5 Profits of trading ventures; 6 Customs on exports and imports; and, finally, 7 Taxes on the subject. Bodin considers the public domain to be the most honest and the most reliable source of income for the commonwealth.
He writes that throughout history sovereign princes and their citizens have taken it as a universal rule that the public domain should be holy, inviolable and inalienable. Bodin considers the inalienability of the public domain, together with the Salic law, to be one of the fundamental laws Lat. Like many of his contemporaries, Bodin held that the levying of new taxes without consent was a violation of the property rights of the individual, and, as such, contrary to the law of God and nature.
He was particularly firm in opposing new taxation without proper consent and sought confirmation for his opinion in French and European history. One of the main differences between a legitimate ruler and an illegitimate one concerns the question of how each treats the private property of their subjects. Property rights are protected by the law of God and of nature, and therefore, violation of the private property of citizens is a violation of the law of God and of nature.
A tyrant makes his subjects into his slaves, and treats their private property as if it were his own. The 16th and 17th centuries witnessed fierce internal conflict and power struggles at the heart of Christianity. The country most seriously ravaged by the combat between the Catholics and the Huguenots was France.
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Furthermore, a world of hugely diverse religious beliefs had been recently unveiled beyond the walls of Christendom, and the question of knowing which religion was the true religion vera religio , or that which God wanted humanity to follow, needed to be addressed. It is believed to have been written sometime during the s, although it was circulated in manuscript for nearly three centuries before it was published in its entirety in The Colloquium is a discussion between seven men of different religions or convictions that have gathered in the home of Coronaeus, a Catholic living in Venice, Italy.
The men engage in listening to music, reading, gastronomical delights, and discussions concerning religion. The Colloquium begins with a story that is told by Octavius. A ship leaves the port of Alexandria as gentle winds blow, but an intensive tempest soon arises. The crewmen, being from many different places and of various confessions, all pray for the one God that they have faith in.
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The storm calms down eventually and the ship is brought safely to port. The matter of true religion is discussed in the final three books of the Colloquium heptaplomeres. True religion, Bodin holds, is tolerant of all religions, and accepts different ways to approach God. In , when he wrote the Discours au Senate et au peuple de Toulouse , Bodin held that people should be brought up publicly in one religion.
This he considered as an indispensable element in the cohesiveness of the state. Religious unity should be preserved, and religion should not be debated, since disputations damage religion and cast doubt upon it. Uniformity of worship must be enforced within the commonwealth when it is possible, but tolerance should become the norm when religious minorities become influential enough to no longer be repressed. As a consequence, he was accused of many things, including of being a Jew, a Calvinist, a heretical Catholic, and an atheist during his lifetime and after his death.
Some scholars have even suggested that there are traces of Nicodemism, or religious dissimulation, in both his works and actions. No one represents his thinking exclusively, but Bodin is sympathetic to some views of each as the dialogue develops. And truely they in mine opinion offend much, which thinke that the same punishment is to be appointed for them that make many gods, and them that would have none at all: or that the infinitie of gods admitted, the almightie and everliving God is thereby taken away.
For that superstition how great soever it be, doth yet hold men in feare and awe, both of the laws and of the magistrats; as also in mutuall duties and offices one of them towards another: whereas mere Atheisme doth utterly root out of mens minds all the feare of doing evill. But Bodin had another reason to detest atheism: atheists are blasphemous because they deny the existence of God. Because of its wide distribution and numerous editions, historians have held it accountable for prosecutions of witches during the years that followed its publication.
Bodin had a strong belief in the existence of angels and demons, and believed that they served as intermediaries between God and human beings; God intervenes directly in the world through the activity of angels and demons. Demonism, together with atheism and any attempt to manipulate demonic forces through witchcraft or natural magic, was treason against God and to be punished with extreme severity.
Bodin feared that this might lead judges to consider witches as mentally ill, and, as a consequence, permit them to go without punishment. Book One begins with a set of definitions. Bodin then discusses to what extent men may engage in the occult, and the differences between lawful and unlawful means to accomplish things. He also discusses the powers of witches and their practices: whether witches are able to transform men into beasts, induce or inspire in them illnesses, or perhaps even bring about their death. The final book is a discussion concerning ways to investigate and prosecute witches.
Bodin lists three necessary and indisputable proofs upon which a sentence can be based: 1 Truth of the acknowledged and concrete fact; 2 Testimony of several sound witnesses; and 3 Voluntary confession of the person who is charged and convicted of the crime. Presumptions may serve in the conviction and sentencing of witches in cases where clear proof is lacking. The death penalty, however, must only be sentenced by a competent judge and based on solid proof that eliminates all possibility of error.
One must be very sure of the truth to impose the death sentence. It remains the least studied of his works and has never been translated into English. Bodin himself informs us that the Theatrum was written in Ever since the beginning of his career Bodin sought to methodologically study all things, human and divine.
He writes:. Of history, that is, the true narration of things, there are three kinds: human, natural, and divine. The first concerns man; the second, nature; the third, the Father of nature. Bodin turns to the study of nature in order to better know God:. The Theatrum has been described as an attack against those arrogant and ungodly philosophers, or naturalists, who wish to explain everything without reference to the creator and father of all things that is God.
God is the author of all existing things, and the contemplation of nature brings us closer to Him. Furthermore, contemplating nature makes us love God for the care and goodness that he shows us. The Theatrum has been written in a pseudo-dialogue form; it is a discussion between an informant, Mystagogus, and his questioner Theorus. The work opens with a short overview of the text, in which Bodin stresses the importance of order for the study of things. This gives him the opportunity to criticize Aristotle, who failed to discuss things in the right order; simpler things must be discussed before more complex ones, and therefore matters of physics should have been discussed after metaphysical things.
Arranging all the material that is being considered in a convenient order — simplest notions to be studied first, and difficult ones later — is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Ramist framework of knowledge, as McRae has observed McRae , 8. Other topics that Bodin discusses in Book One include matter, form and the causes of things. Furthermore, movement, generation, corruption and growth are considered, as well as things related to them: time and place, void, finitude and infinitude.