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Das Heilige und die Ware. Zum Spannungsfeld von Religion und Ökonomie

"The introduction is composed of three parts. Part I presents three theses communicated to the participants of the workshop in advance. Thesis One deals with the cultural evaluation of economy, in western society often judged to be in opposition to religion. Thesis Two discusses approaches to the question, whether the character of society is determined by economical or by religious (cultural) parameters. Thesis Three is devoted to the definition of economy as the totality of social productivity and discusses the character of the accumulated symbolic and material capital.In Part II the articles published in the volume are grouped around four main topics. A first topic is formed by general perspectives on the nexus of religion and economy, using either the religious aspect or the economic as point of departure. In each case scientists will weight there results differentely and use different methodological approaches. The following two topics center around economic phenomena rooted in the context of religious practices: Around the function of sacred places as points of crystallization of economic practice: as location factor, centre of circulation and economic institution; and around the economic significance of donations/offerings in the cult: as votives, foundations and as means of the definition of property rights. The final topic deals on the one side with the significance of religion for economic processes: stimulating and producing a general setting for production, circulation and consumption of symbolic and material gods; and the significance of economy for religion on the other side: stimulating religious conceptualization of practical processes and thus generating cults, cult places and gods.Part III tries to define the nexus between religion and economy on a more general level. From a sociological point of view, three practical fields of interaction are discussed: first, the influence of religious institutions and concepts on the field of material economy; second, the view on religion itself as a field of economic practices directed on the production of symbolic values (Heilsgüter); finally, the dialectical abolition of religious and economic aspects in a field of general conceptualization of human practices. This model is confronted with a perspective from science of religions, defining two fields of religiously orientated practices as fundamentally related to economic activities: the more general field of sacralization (the conceptualization in the frame of religious practice) and the specific act of donation which generates a fundamental kind of surplus which can be conceptualized only in sacral terms."

Author(s):  Fitzenreiter, Martin
Format:  Article
Date:  2008
Source:  Internet-Beiträge zur Ägyptologie und Sudanarchäologie Vol. 7 (IBAES 7)