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How sound is the concept of "re-enchantment" under the scrutiny of ethnographic evidence from different post-socialist countries? What kind of theorisation can reinforce its validity or weaken its explanatory power? If valid, does it signify a normal, exceptional, or transgressive state of things?
One of the possible ways to understand and conceptualise post-socialist religious transformations in largely secularised late-modern contexts is by appealing to the idea of "re-enchantment", which challenges a well-known Weberian interpretative paradigm. This concept has recently been theorised or re-thought in philosophy (Scruton 2014), cultural studies (Landy and Saler 2009, Partridge 2005), esotericism (Asprem 2019), sociology (Jenkins 2000) and ethnology/anthropology (Margry 2008, Testa 2017, Isnart and Testa 2020). How useful and convincing is such a concept when put under the scrutiny of empirical, ethnographic data from different post-socialist countries? What kind of evidence or theorisation can reinforce its validity or alternatively weaken its explanatory power? And if it does indeed bear validity in explaining social realities, does it signify a normal, exceptional, or transgressive state of things?
This panel intends to discuss these questions by looking at specific case studies of new or renewed religious practices in central-eastern Europe, and also at the conceptual and methodological entanglements and tensions that the notion of "re-enchantment" may trigger when problematised against empirical evidence and the irreducible diversity of specific examples. We invite contributions that look at how the concept of "re-enchantment" functions at the ground level of social practices concerning vernacular/local religiosities, new religious movements and "spiritualities", and civic rituality and religious heritages, whereas the final roundtable we further theorisation about the concept itself.
The geo-political scope of the papers, with the possibility of motivated exceptions, will be the Visegrád group (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia).