28 décembre 2010
L'année 2010 se termine sur trois publications.
Jeunesse en Mission à Belleville. La première est parue dans un livre collectif dirigé par Lucine Endelstein, Sébastien Fath et Séverine Mathieu, Dieu change en ville. Religion, espace, immigration (voir le sommaire complet sur le site du réseau "sociologie & religions"). Elle porte sur l'église réformée de Belleville (photo ci-contre), qui est devenue au cours des années 1980 une sorte de quartier général de l'organisation évangélique Jeunesse en Mission (YWAM), "une église parisienne aux couleurs de YWAM" pour reprendre le titre du chapitre qui lui est consacré dans mon dernier livre. Dans le cadre d'une réflexion sur le rapport des courants évangéliques charismatiques au territoire urbain, elle reprend en partie des éléments évoqués dans un précédent article, déjà mentionné ici, sur "pentecôtisme et modernité urbaine". Voici les premières lignes de l'article, qui en donnent un bon aperçu:
"Au premier abord, l’église réformée de Belleville se présente comme une église locale dans un quartier multiculturel. En fait, son histoire récente, marquée par l’influence conjointe d’un pasteur anglican charismatique et de l’organisation évangélique Jeunesse en Mission (JEM), permet surtout d’analyser la manière dont les pratiques et l’imaginaire du protestantisme charismatique peuvent articuler réseaux globalisés et ancrage local, déterritorialisation des appartenances et réinvestissement symbolique de l’espace urbain."
Emotions en religion. La seconde publication fait partie d'un projet collectif de longue haleine, le dictionnaire des faits religieux dirigé par Régine Azria et Danièle Hervieu-Léger et évoque un thème déjà mentionné ici: les émotions en religion. J'y ai en effet écrit l'article "émotion", qui traite de la manière dont les sciences sociales ont abordé ces émotions religieuses: ma petite contribution à cet énorme travail - 1360 pages - que ses auteurs définissent ainsi:
Ce dictionnaire propose la première approche collective libre de toute emprise confessionnelle sur les faits religieux. Son objet, prétendu « indéfinissable », s’y trouve traité au cœur même de sa complexité à travers la pluridisciplinarité de ses contributeurs dialoguant par dessus les frontières disciplinaires et culturelles : sociologues, anthropologues, historiens, philosophes, politologues conversent autant sur l’enracinement ou l’exportation des religions que sur des sujets que tout un chacun se pose (secte, intégrisme…), afin d’aider le lecteur à se configurer sa définition des faits religieux.
Bourdieu et le pentecôtisme. Enfin, la troisième publication, davantage destinée à un public de spécialistes, est parue dans un récent numéro du Nordic Journal of Religion and Society (sommaire ici). Elle présente une synthèse théorique de mes recherches sur la socialisation et l'institution pentecôtistes, en montrant comment les outils de la sociologie de Pierre Bourdieu pourraient être utilement utilisés pour analyser les relations entre individu, institution et communauté dans ce type d'église. En voici un résumé:
The Holy Spirit and the Pentecostal habitus: Elements for a sociology of institution in classical Pentecostalism
Classical Pentecostalism is placed in line with contemporary reshaping of institutional authority as it provides a subjective individualisation of religious experience («a personal relationship with God») while maintaining a close control of converts’ lives. This article draws from fieldwork conducted within the French Polynesian Assemblies of God since 2000. The aim here is to show how the theoretical tools of Bourdieu’s sociology can prove helpful in analysing this paradoxical institution that is both an «anti-structure» and a structuring authority which grants the biographical invention of conversion the status of a well-grounded illusion. It first analyses the structure in the Pentecostal field of minister’s positions, then the distribution of lay «ministries» and the institutional apparatus of socialisation and training that give shape to a Pentecostal habitus. The «voice of the Holy Spirit» finally appears as the symbolical core of this specific habitus which lies on an «invisible» mediation between institutional apparatus of control and internalised dispositions.
* Bonus (ajout du 7 janvier 2010). Je viens de mettre en ligne sur le serveur HAL-SHS le texte d'une communication faite au congrès de l'association française de sociologie en avril 2009, sur le thème "Le système pentecôtiste de gestion de l'argent, entre illusion subjective et rationalité institutionnelle". Pour le lire, cliquez ici.
Bonnes lectures !
02 juillet 2008
I’ve asked Marion Maddox, an Australian scholar specialist in Churches-State relationships and director of the Centre for Social Inclusion at the Macquarie University in Sydney to tell us in what context these Days occur and what kind of impact they may have on an Australian youth who seems not likely to be interested in the conservative discourse of Benedict XVI.
The Roman Catholic Church has chosen Sydney to hold its 2008 World Youth Days (WYD). Is there any chance this could attract young Australians?
I find it quite hard to understand what WYD is trying to achieve. It is presenting itself as aimed at youth, with a focus on freshness and modernity; but at the same time, it's a celebration of a certain kind of Catholic traditionalism. For example, Cardinal Pell has asked to have St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney designated as an official pilgrimage site which will entitle those who visit it for prayer during the WYD celebrations to a plenary indulgence; confessional booths are being set up around the city (despite the fact that, until recently pressured by Rome to restore the traditional confessional, Australian Catholics had scarcely used it, preferring the collective 'third rite' confession during Mass). I expect that the event will attract young Catholics, particularly those of a traditionalist mind-set, but it seems to have been designed more as an event for reinforcing Catholic identity than as an attempt to attract the unconverted.
Does the organization of these WYD in Sydney interest Australians, beyond the Catholic circles?
The main impact WYD is having on non-Catholic Australians so far is negative. Newspapers are asking questions about the amount of government money supporting it; roads will be blocked and Sydney's already overstretched public transport system will be even more strained; city office workers have been asked to take the week off work if possible so as to minimise overcrowding; special laws impose a A$5000 fine for "causing annoyance" to WYD pariticipants; police have said that anyone participating in a protest (eg groups representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse) will have to have their placards and messages approved beforehand. All this has contributed to public cynicism and irritation.
Of course, this may change once the Pope arrives and the negative news stories are overtaken by positive events.
What is the current situation of the Australian Catholic Church? The pope himself seems to consider an attempt to reconquest part of the lost ground (the “new evangelisation”) rather than a visit to a conquered land.
Australian Catholics are predominantly made up of three waves of migrants: first, poor Irish workers and convicts, and the clergy and religious who came to look after them; then, after World War II, southern European (especially Italian) workers; and, most recently, Catholics from Vietnam and other Asian countries.
Catholicism is Australia's largest denomination, with around 26% of the population, but Australia is culturally very secular and only a minority of that 26% would attend Mass regularly. While church attendance figures (for all denominations) have fallen since the 1950s, that was an unusually religious period; since European settlement, religion has played only a minor part in Australia's public culture and little or no part in national identity. So, if the Pope is attempting to regain 'lost ground', he might need to ask himself whether the church really ever had that much ground. Historically, Catholics suffered a lot of discrimination in Australia (for example, in employment) and were looked down on as poor and under-educated. The last half of the last century saw that turn around, with generous government support for Catholic schools, for example. Catholics used also to be strongly associated with the political Left (the Australian Labor Party). In terms of voting patterns that is still true, though not as strongly as in decades gone by. But Catholics, once extremely rare on the conservative side of politics, are now strongly represented in the parliamentary parties of the Right.
Is the Australian Catholic Church conservative or liberal?
Both; in recent years, the liberal voice has been more prominent, especially on issues of justice, peace and the environment. Catholic organisations were very important voices in drawing public attention to the previous government's harsh treatment of asylum seekers, for example, and have often been strong advocates for the poor, for workers'rights, and for Indigenous peoples.
However, Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, is generally regarded as conservative, particularly on theological issues but also on social issues. Also, different parts of the Catholic church have different political flavours. Some of the most prominent liberal voices represent religious orders rather than the church hierarchy, for example.
It has to be said, too, that even the more liberal parts of the church are not always good at standing for the oppressed when the question concerns the church itself. A recent example is the letter from the Australian Catholic bishops unanimously criticising a retired bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, who wrote a book about sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
Is it right to say that Australia is a deeply secularised society?
Yes. Around 70% of Australians claim some religious belief or affiliation, but only a very small proportion make it a central part of their lives. Around 9% of Australians say they go to church weekly.
In your book God under Howard(1), you explored the relations between politics and religion under the conservative government of John Howard. The new Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd presents himself as a strong Christian from Catholic origin but doesn’t seem to be willing to use it in politics. Does he exemplify the position of many Australian Catholics?
Actually, Kevin Rudd is an Anglican; he was raised a Catholic but became an Anglican in adulthood (though when I interviewed him in 1999, he told me that 'the possibility of doing a Cardinal Newman [ie converting to Catholicism] always remains'. He has talked a lot about his faith, particularly before he became Prime Minister. One of his early moves to establish a profile as a potential leader was to write a pair of magazine articles about the German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (I suspect he might be the first Australian Prime Minister in a very long time who could even name a 20th Century theologian, let alone write a learned essay about one!) Since the election, his faith comes through less in explicit statements than in more symbolic ways; for example, his February 2008 apology to the 'Stolen Generations' (of Indigenous Australians taken from their families in childhood) had a decidedly liturgical feel. Mainline churchgoers tend to see religion as something that might well inform one's politics but about which politicians shouldn't be too explicit. For most of Australian political history, politicians thought so too. The recent interest in our representatives' personal faith partly reflects the Americanisation of Australian politics and an increased focus on politicians' personal features generally (marriage, family life, personality etc). Given that only a small proportion of voters actually do go to church regularly, we have to look for the wider effects of politicians' religiosity. God Under Howard argues that secular Australians quite like a certain amount of religiosity in our politicians. Politicians have a reputation for being cynical and self-serving; but, when they emphasise a religious identity, it reassures us that they stand for some higher set of values (even if they are values that few voters actually share).
Australia is a country of immigration. How the immigrations of the last three decades have influenced the profile of Australian Christianity, in particular Catholicism? More widely, what is the place of religious issues in the debates on multiculturalism?
Each wave of migration has brought a new ethnic dimension to Australian Catholicism. Also, each wave of migration has created a new group of easily-identified newcomers who can become the target of racist or other kinds of fears. At the moment, the big multicultural discussion about religion is to do with Islam. Ten or fifteen years ago, it was whether and how Indigenous peoples' religious traditions should be protected eg by laws preventing mining or development on sacred sites. Fifty years ago, the point of tension was antagonism between Catholics and Protestants (though the word 'multiculturalism' was not used back then). Religion itself is usually not important in such debates; often criticising religion is a way of distancing others without mentioning race.
Pictures of Sydney : Sydney Webcam.