chapter  12
18 Pages

Authentic and Vicarious – Exploring the Manifold Privatized Meanings of a Religious Community

WithAnne Birgitta Pessi

A particularly fascinating element of privatized religiosity is the element that is by definition assumed to be the weakest: the individual's relation to a religious community. Indeed, Finland represents a particularly interesting case in the study of late-modern privatized religiosity and vicariousness. The expectation for religious communities to offer space for an individualized and privatized type of religiosity is viewed as essential. Individuals with privatized religiosity indeed have a central role in the future of historic European churches. The notion of vicarious religion is not the opposite of secularization theory but one factor among many in the continuous re-adjustment of the religious landscape of Europe. The current potential of religion and religious innovation may be related specifically to tradition and morality. The data also shows examples of how the feeling of community in relation to a religious community and the hope for both discussion and support can be expected and needed at a time of crisis.