Of Religious Diseases and Sociological Laboratories: Towards a Transnational Anatomy of Catholic Secularisation Narratives in Western Europe, 1940–1970

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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This article focuses on various unexplored transnational aspects of Catholic secularisation narratives in the French, Dutch, and West German Church Provinces between 1940 and 1970. It argues that the Dutch kaski institute, especially, paved the way for transnational entanglement, not only by launching a scientific journal and organising international conferences, but also by establishing an international umbrella institute. With regard to the discursive structure of secularisation narratives, it suggests that an amalgamation of words, figures, and/or cartograms made particular sociological analyses of religiosity so pervasive. An understanding of the historical origins of Catholic secularisation narratives is key to the study of pastoral sociology because these narratives helped legitimise the acting of sociologists in the ecclesiastical domain.

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1

Chris Dols, Fact Factory: Sociological Expertise and Episcopal Decision Making in the Netherlands, 1946–1972 (Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2015), 181.

3

Kocku von Stukrad, The Scientification of Religion: A Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800–2000 (Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter, 2014), 11–13.

5

Herman Paul, Ziektegeschiedenissen: de discursieve macht van secularisatieverhalen (Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 2013), 29–31.

8

Dols, Factory, 29–57.

9

Adolf Holl, “Socio-Religious Institutes in Europe: A Report on the Activities of Eleven Institutes in Eight European Countries,” Social Compass 17 (1970), 461–468.

13

Linus Grond, “Das ‘Thermometer’ der Kirche: Aufgaben einer kirchlichen Sozialforschung,” Wort und Wahrheit 8 (1953), 85–94.

14

Walter Goddijn & Kees Thoen, Structure et methode de travail de l’Institut International Catholique de Recherches Socio-Ecclésiales (The Hague: Katholiek Sociaal-Kerkelijk Instituut, 1955), 5–6, 12.

16

Holl, “Institutes”, 462.

17

George Zeegers, “Het Katholiek Sociaal-Kerkelijk Instituut,” Nederlandse Katholieke Stemmen 45 (1949), 282–295.

18

 Cf. Paul, Ziektegeschiedenissen, 12–18.

19

Alain Chenu, “Les enquêteurs du dimanche: revisiter les statistiques françaises de pratique du catholicisme, 1930–1980,” Histoire et Mesure 26 (2011), 177–221; Dols, Factory, ­57–63; Benjamin Ziemann, Encounters with Modernity: The Catholic Church in West Germany, 1945–1975, trans. Andrew Evans (New York: Berghahn, 2014), 24–110. For a general history of the concept of de-Christianisation, see a contribution by Friedrich Wilhelm Graf to the Religion Past and Present (rpp) project by Brill publishers: http://www.brillonline.nl (visited on 15-06-2015).

21

Dols, Factory, 113–116. In the 1960s, sociologists of religion contrasted this traditional image of the priest with that of the priest as someone who had a ‘job’ and performed various ‘roles’.

22

Friedrich Wilhelm Graf, Die Wiederkehr der Götter: Religion in der modernen Kultur (München: Beck, 2004), 70–73

23

Callum Brown, The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation, 1800–2000 (London: Routledge, 2001), 11.

24

Jan Roes, Het grote missieuur, 1915–1940 (Bilthoven: Ambo, 1974). For arguments in favour of the usage of sociological knowledge in forms of ‘external’ mission, see: George Zeegers & Kees Thoen, “Sociografisch onderzoek bij de missionering,” Social Compass 1 (1953), 5–18.

25

Henri Godin & Yves Daniel, La France: pays de mission? (Paris: Union Générale, 1943), 26–70.

26

Louis Châtellier, The Religion of the Poor: Rural Missions in Europe and the Formation of Modern Catholicism, c. 1500-c.1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 1–2; Ton van Schaik, Bedankt voor de bloemen: Johannes Paulus ii en Nederland (Tielt: Lannoo, 2005), 40.

27

Dols, Factory, 19–20.

28

Ziemann, Encounters, 82–94.

30

George Zeegers, “Einige Betrachtungen über Fragen der Katholischen Diaspora in Nord-Europa,” Social Compass 3 (1955), 88–98.

33

Ziemann, Encounters, 68.

34

Emmanuel Gerard, Sociale wetenschappen aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 1892–1992 (Leuven: Politica, 1992), 52–82.

37

Dols, Factory, 93–94.

38

George Lakoff & Mark Johnson, Metaphors we live by (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 156–159.

39

Raphael, “Embedding”, 44.

40

Chris Dols, “Building a Catholic Milieu: Visual Catholic Temperance Propaganda in the Netherlands, ca. 1900–1945,” Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions- und Kulturgeschichte 103 (2009), 183–203; Brown, Death, 58–114.

43

Ziemann, Encounters, 94.

45

Zeegers, “Instituut”, 287.

47

Ziemann, Encounters, 94.

49

Grond, “Thermometer”, 85–88.

50

Dols, Factory, 145.

53

Zeegers, “Instituut”, 293.

55

Paul, Ziektegeschiedenissen, 15–18.

56

Theodore Porter, Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).

57

Zeegers, “Instituut”, 284–286.

58

Nico Randeraad, Het onberekenbare Europa: macht en getal in de negentiende eeuw (Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek, 2006), 251–254.

62

Ziemann, Encounters, 24–62.

63

Chenu, “Enquêteurs”, 189.

65

Dols, Factory, 66, 102–105.

66

Porter, Trust, 3–8.

67

Ziemann, Encounters, 45.

69

Benjamin Ziemann, “Zur Entwicklung christlicher Religiosität in Deutschland und Westeuropa, 1900–1960,” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 65 (2013), 99–122.

70

Dols, “Wespennest”, 191–192.

72

Zeegers, “Instituut”, 290–291.

73

 Cfr. Gabriel Lebras, “Un programme: la géographie religieuse,” Annales d’histoire sociale 8 (1945), 87–112.

76

Chenu, “Enquêteurs”, 186–187.

77

Dols, Factory, 68–69.

78

Zeegers, “Betrachtungen”, 90–93.

80

 Cfr. Danny Dorling, The Visualisation of Spatial Structure (Hoboken, New Yersey: Wiley, 2012), 59–93.

81

 Cfr. Linda Carton, Map Making and Map Use in a Multi-Actor Context: Spatial Visualizations and Frame Conflicts in Regional Policymaking in the Netherlands (Delft: Technische Universiteit, 2007), 37–63.

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