Tendencies of Religious Change in Hungary / Les Tendances du changement religieux en Hongrie. - article ; n°1 ; vol.65, pg 67-79
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Tendencies of Religious Change in Hungary / Les Tendances du changement religieux en Hongrie. - article ; n°1 ; vol.65, pg 67-79

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Archives des sciences sociales des religions - Année 1988 - Volume 65 - Numéro 1 - Pages 67-79
13 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 1988
Nombre de lectures 37
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo


Miklos Tomka
Tendencies of Religious Change in Hungary / Les Tendances
du changement religieux en Hongrie.
In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 65/1, 1988. pp. 67-79.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Tomka Miklos. Tendencies of Religious Change in Hungary / Les Tendances du changement religieux en Hongrie. In: Archives
des sciences sociales des religions. N. 65/1, 1988. pp. 67-79.
doi : 10.3406/assr.1988.2459
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/assr_0335-5985_1988_num_65_1_2459Arch Sc soc des Rel. 1988 65/1 janvier-mars) 67-79
évacuation des motivations et des systèmes de légitimation et de
structuration religieuses dans une société est-elle le fait du long
processus inexorable de la rationalisation et de la differentiation
sociales ou de leur remplacement par une autre idéologie koliste
est la première hypothèse que retiennent les théories de la séculari
sation Mais est la seconde que se propose explorer cet article
dans le cas de la Hongrie le changement religieux est avant tout le fait
de imposition un régime marxiste et un pouvoir politique Il ne
est pas produit de fa on linéaire il est passé par quatre phases
successives tra ant quatre modèles de rapports religion/société
une société religieuse la Deuxième Guerre mondiale
une période affrontements entre une conception religieuse et une
conception marxiste de individu et de la société une période de
déchristianisation accélérée une période actuelle de reconstruc
tion un système religieux un type inédit et en équilibre encore
instable et incertain et de désécularisation
The most common way to explain religious change seems to be the reasoning
of secularization Differently caused or structured processes of change are seldom
described in sociological manner in modem society However their existence
can hardly be denied Let us mention as an example the case of states bordering
the islamie culture e.g Sudan or Lebanon or the changing social role and
position of religion in Latin America Furthermore the lacking consensus about
the exact meaning and theoretical content of secularization can rmiy hinder the
distinguishing of secularization and other causes and components of re igious
change This mergence is particularly harmful for the examination of the reli
gious phenomenon and change in post Second World War Central Europe The
first important distinction in this case may be between organic autonomous
societal causes and connections of change on the one hand and their counter
parts based on political decisions without general social support on the other
The challenging problem in this context is under what circumstances and in what
duration of time are measures of power aiming secularization able to transform
particular society There might be great number of examples at hand for
comparative analysis from Ata-turk Turkey and Pahlevi Iran to actual Ethio
pia Another fundamental question is whether the pressure for change and
replacement of religious motivations legitimations and structuring of society is
caused by rationalization or by another holistic ideology This second question
can not be ignored in the study of religious change in the socialist States of
Central and Eastern Europe Secularization theories try to relate social rationa
lization differentiation and religious change or try to understand them as
different aspects of the same socio-cultural change This change is mostly
understood as long-term and basically social process Religious change in
socialist countries in the last decades is however short-term and non-linear
movement motivated besides and perhaps before social rationalization and
differentiation by the official position of Marxism and by decisions of political
power Our task is to study the outcomes of such multilateral relations in the
case of Hungary
Religious change in XXth century Hungary features four distinctive models
starting with pre-World-War II religious society followed by the clash between
religious and marxist principles of individual and social life third period can
be characterized by rapid dechristianization and the actual state of affairs
shows within the framework of parallel decline and revival the reconstruction of
religious system and perhaps desecularization
Pre-World-War II Hungary has had religious society lacking differen
tiation of sacred and profane in everyday life and lay culture building
one unity religious and secular power existing in the same system Everybody
was involved in religious culture just like everybody participated in national
traditions It was thinking which offered an explanation of the world
and even of cosmos Religion formulated the basic purposes and values both of
individual and of social existence These were accordingly adopted as norms of
the public education as well Religion established focus for community
loyalty provided occasions for the expression of group cohesion it legitimated
group activities politics and policies Religion was the foundation for indi
vidual salvation and social legitimation
This overall relevance of religion was reflected both in its cultural presence
in general and regular practice and in great number of church institutions and
organizations as well Crucifixes and other religious symbols were present in
class-rooms in public buildings 4) on streets and squares non-negligible
proportion of the press and of the books published was unmistakably religious in
inspiration The literature of the first part of the century abounds in
writings Underlying the superficial irreligiosity professed by upper-class-libera
lism at the end of the XIXth and leftist criticism of religion at the beginning of the
XXth century culture was interwoven by multitude of religious elements
Participation in religious life was part of generally accepted behaviour
Religious attitudes ensured that practically everybody was bred to practice
religion other types of Weltanschauung hardly ever came to the surface so as to be
known by the broad public Official and non-official regulations mobilized
people for participation in the liturgie life of the church Tradition made Sunday
mass attendance and participation in number of other religious ceremonies
both natural and obligatory something which simply was the proper thing to do
For school children however this was also obligatory In addition to partici
pation in religious ceremonies an important role was played in religious practice
by mass manifestations such as pilgrimages festivals on the day of the churches
dedication or the Eucharistie World Congress held in Budapest in 1938 or the
commemoration year of saint Imre in 1930
The lack of differentiation between religious and profane was both cause and
consequence of the undifferentiatedness of the system of cultural institutions
The majority of educational institutions in Hungary had been created by the
churches They financed and ran them up to 1948 Approximately third of
all hospitals and welfare institutions had been built maintained and run by the 10 The churches were represented ex officio in the elected bodies of
society for example in Parliament 11 In addition quite few priests worked in
the administration mainly in the supervision of educational and religious affairs
The religious field overlapped great number of profane sectors of society The
system of directly religious institutions which had fundamental importance in
the development of the totality of religious phenomena religious education the
organization of life and the development of culture was
organized in three dimensions
The first dimension is represented by the system of parishes and dioceses
encompassing the whole country based on the principle of territorial repartition
Their material resources were supplied as also those of religious private
schools hospitals etc predominantly by large church owned estates 12 The
advantageous legal position of this official Church was due to its role as State
religion and to series of traditional privileges 13 Its social prestige was partly
the consequence of its economical and political power An important reason for it
was also the fact that the faithful considered the Church to be their own as the
least selfish protagonist in local affairs and as the organization in which also the
son of the little man could make carreer he could become gentleman
The next dimension in the system of the Church was that of both male and
female religious orders 14 In 1950 when religious orders were dissolved 23
monk-communities exercised their activities in 182 monasteries and 40 sister
hoods worked in 454 nunneries 15 The importance of religious orders was due
to special tasks such as preaching and mission work specialized religious
education for intellectuals social and philantropic activities scientific work etc
Their material and legal situation and the prestige they enjoyed depended largely
on the q

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