Department of Religious Studies

prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Mikołejko – Head
Dr hab. Dorota Hall, prof. IFiS PAN
Dr hab.  Anna E. Kubiak, prof. IFiS PAN
Dr hab. Rafał Smoczyński, prof. IFiS PAN
Dr Kseniya Medvedeva (stypendystka programu PASIFIC)
Dr Kinga Połynczuk-Alenius (stypendystka programu PASIFIC)

The Department develops the concept of philosophy of religion as an analysis of the existential experience of a person of faith, thus creating an overview of religion from the perspective of the subject, which leads to a subjectivistic analysis of the truth-seeking aspirations of philosophical theology. Take the philosophy of religion understood beyond the empirical names of religious identity as the subject of research in particular disciplines of religious studies – sociology, psychology or history of religion – differences to the essence of religion and believers’ interpretation of the world, value systems and ways of orientation in life. Philosophy of religion cultivated in the Department, an attempt to reconcile phenomenology and the history of religion – historicizing phenomenology and using its shape of “based phenomenology” and phenomenologizing historicism by arousing its sensitivity to the value and meaning of the existential experience of the sacred.

In recent years, the Department has carried out the following research topics: (I) phenomenology of religion and historicism; (II) the current situation of faith and its philosophical recognition; (III) “new spirituality” and New Age; (IV) the sacred and violence in the modern world (especially the sacralization of violence and its religious and para-religious justifications); (V) new Christian interpretations of sin and evil, guilt and punishment; (VI) new religious phenomena (sects, neo-paganism, Secular City religiosity, “invisible religiosity”, etc.); (VII) religious and political mythologies of the right; (VIII) religious and political worldviews in contemporary Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as in the countries of Central Europe; (IX) religious and philosophical aspects of dictatorships, authoritarian and totalitarian systems; (X) psychologization of religious phenomena; (XI) relations between faith and sexuality; (XII) thanatology; XIII) moral panic and its connections with religious experience; (XIV) relations between religion and economic practice and contemporary socio-political ideologies.

So far, thirteen doctoral theses have been written at the Department: ten – under the supervision of prof. Zbigniew Mikołejko, PhD, two – under the supervision of prof. IFiS PAN Anna E. Kubiak, one – under the supervision of prof. IFiS PAN by Rafał Smoczyński. Prof. Zbigniew Mikołejko was also a reviewer in eight habilitation proceedings, twenty doctoral proceedings and one procedure for awarding the title of professor, and the chairman – as a result of his appointment by the Central Committee for Degrees and Titles – of one habilitation commission. Employees of the Department conduct classes in the field of philosophy, knowledge of religion, anthropology and sociology at the School of Social Sciences of the IFiS PAN, at postgraduate studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and at public universities in Warsaw. They also take an intensive part in the popularization of knowledge (radio and television broadcasts, press publications, lectures at universities of the third age and other institutions).

The Department conducts very intensive domestic and foreign cooperation, also aiming to successfully obtain many research grants from domestic and foreign funds – in several cases these are grants directed or co-directed by its employees, and in several cases they are grants with their participation. These grants were financed in previous years by the Committee for Scientific Research, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the National Science Center, the European Commission (6th Framework Programme, Marie Curie Fellowship), the British Academy, the Visegrad Fund, Taiwan Fellowship, DAAD, OEAD, The Research Council of Norway, The British Council, The Swedish Institute, The Kosciuszko Foundation.

Major international grants:

  • Minorities and the Media: the communicative construction of religious identity in times of deep mediatization – project led by Dr. Hab. Dorota Hall, conducted in partnership with the University of Bremen (Germany), financed by the NCN/DFG (BEETHOVEN 2 program)
  • Inter-Korean People to People Diplomacy – project led by Dr. Hab. Rafał Smoczyński, implemented in South Korea, financed by the Korea Foundation
  • Expanding Research on Family in Poland and Romania, project led by dr hab. Rafał Smoczyński, conducted in partnership with the Romanian Academy, financed by the Polish Academy of Sciences and AR
  • The Role of Intelligentsia in Shaping Collective Identities of Poles and Hungarians in 19th and 20th Centuries, project led by Dr. Hab. Rafał Smoczyński, conducted in partnership with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, financed by the Polish Academy of Sciences and WAN
  • Intensified Migration Processes in the EU: societal reactions towards migrants in Bulgaria and Poland, project led by Dr. Hab. Rafał Smoczyński, conducted in partnership with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, financed by PAN and BAN
  • The changing normative infrastructure in Czechia and Poland: wellbeing and tax morale, 2020-2023, co-principal investigator (joint project of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Czech Academy of Sciences) [dr hab. Rafał Smoczyński with B. Hamplova]
  • Westernisers and ‘Narodniks’ Dichotomous Identity-Generating Narratives in the 19th–20th-century Polish and Hungarian Intellectual History”, 2020-2023, co-principal investigator (joint project of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) [ Ph.D. Rafał Smoczyński with B. Mester]
  • New directions in the sociology of moral panics”, since 2021-2023 (36 months), co-principal investigator (joint project of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) [dr hab. Rafał Smoczyński with L. Spasova]

In addition, the Department employs two scholarship holders of the PASIFIC program (Maria Sklodowska-Curie CO-FUND scheme), who in 2022–2024 carry out research projects under the supervision of prof. Dorota Hall:

  • Dr. Kseniya Medvedeva, Green Orthodoxy: Ecological Conversion of Eastern Orthodox Churches (ECOCO)
  • Dr. Kinga Połyńczuk-Alenius, Mediated re/making of democratic imagination in Poland (MEREDEI)

In recent years, employees of the Department have also completed longer foreign research internships, financed mainly from foreign funds, but also from domestic funds (Denmark, Italy, France, Great Britain, USA, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, Korea, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Georgia). They also presented papers at several dozen domestic and foreign conferences (including in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Canada, USA, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Moldova, Vietnam, Mongolia, Norway, Romania, Georgia).

Employees of the Department also act as experts and are the authors of a number of reports for various Polish and international institutions. Among others prof. Dorota Hall in the years 2009–2012 participated in the Network of Socio-Economic Experts in the field of counteracting discrimination established by the European Commission, and since 2011 she has been a national expert for field research in the FRANET network coordinated by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Employees of the Department are also members of various national and international scientific associations and editorial offices, sometimes performing important functions in them: including: prof. IFiS PAN Anna E. Kubiak is a member of the editorial board of “Philosophy Study”, and prof. IFiS PAN Dorota Hall – vice-president of the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA).

The permanent, long-term seminar of the Department Sacrum and Violence takes place during the academic year (October–June) every other Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in room 236 of the Staszic Palace
phone: (0-22) 657–28–57

 

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