Conceptualizations of the “Sacred Individual”: A Comparative Study of Russian and Finnish Young Adults

Navigating Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions - A Methodology for Global Landscapes - Peter Nynäs

Polina Vrublevskaya [+-]
St. Tikhon’s University, Moscow
Polina Vrublevskaya is a research fellow of the sociological laboratory “Sociology of Religion” at St. Tikhon’s University in Moscow, Russia. She holds a joined Master Degree in Sociology at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and University of Manchester (2014). Her main research interests include community policies, sociological theory of sacred and field studies of Russian Orthodox Church. Vrublevskaya served as research assistant for the Åbo Akademi Universit Centre of Excellence Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective Project (2015–2019) in Russia and is currently working on a doctoral dissertation in Study of Religions at Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) (2018 - ). Her main publications are found at: https://research.abo.fi/en/persons/polina-vrublevskaya/publications/"
Marcus Moberg [+-]
Åbo Akademi University
Dr. Marcus Moberg is Professor in the Study of Religions at Åbo Akademi University. His main research interests include the sociology of religion, religion and media, and discourse theory and analysis in the Study of Religion. Moberg acted as Senior Researcher in the Centre of Excellence Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective at ÅAU (2014–18). Recent publications include Religion, Discourse, and Society (Routledge 2021) and Digital Media, Young Adults and Religion: An International Perspective (co-edited with Sofia Sjö, Routledge 2020).
Karoliina Dahl [+-]
Åbo Akademi University
Karoliina Dahl, MA, is a doctoral student at the Department of the Study of Religions at Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU), Turku, Finland. Dahl worked as a research assistant in Finland and member of the core team of the Centre of Excellence Young Adults and Religion in a Global Perspective at ÅAU (2014–18), and she gathered the data in Finland. Her dissertation project focuses on continuities and changes in Finnish young adults’ religious, nonreligious and spiritual views of life.

Description

This chapter explores data gathered among young adults in Russia and Finland in light of the Durkheimian notion of the “sacred individual”. The notion of the sacred individual is grounded in the contention that accelerating modern-time processes of individualization and pluralization have given rise to a situation where the personal autonomy, rights, and self-determination of the unique individual have accrued non-contingent, “sacred” status. By identifying and exploring Russian and Finnish respondents’ loadings on a smaller set of Faith-Q Sort (FQS) statements – referred to as the “sacred individual sub-set” – the chapter thereby explores the extent to which the FQS data can be used as a means to empirically test and elaborate on broader theoretical perspectives. In so doing, it also aims to demonstrate how the mixed methods data can usefully be approached and analyzed from multiple theoretical perspectives. The FQS analyses are further combined with the Finnish and Russian interview data in order to further illustrate how the notion of the sacred individual provides a particular lens for making sense of respondents’ repeated emphasis on the importance of respecting and tolerating the viewpoints and outlooks of others.

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Citation

Vrublevskaya, Polina; Moberg, Marcus; Dahl, Karoliina. Conceptualizations of the “Sacred Individual”: A Comparative Study of Russian and Finnish Young Adults. Navigating Universalism and Particularism in the Study of Religions - A Methodology for Global Landscapes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=44299. Date accessed: 12 Aug 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44299. Oct 2023

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