THE SOCIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TAIZE COMMUNITY AS A RELIGIOUS PHENOMENON OF OUR TIME

SALLY B ROSS, Fordham University

Abstract

The Sociological Significance of the Taize Community as a Phenomenon of Our Time attempts to describe and analyze the Community of Reconciliation's expressed raison d'etre, its monastic social organization, the rhythm of daily liturgical life, the content of ritual, and the theological doctrines by which these actions are rationalized. Based on a review of literature in the sociology of religion, a study is developed to explore an hypothesis. Its primary purpose is two-fold. First, it empirically endeavors to validate or revise key theoretical assumptions that have been made by several sociologists. Second, it attempts to determine the kind of perception Taize's guests utilize in understanding specific components of Christian myth and doctrine. It also notes the convergence or divergence of these visitors' perceptions with Taize's formal interpretation of Christian doctrine. Types of structural variables are then investigated as one means of explaining why a variation in perception might occur. The influence of Taize's forms of worship upon their guests is then ascertained and the diffusion of the Community's ritual symbols into the visitors' home parishers is determined. Multiple methodologies are used in the process of data collection and the ethnographic monograph is utilized for the presentation of research findings.^ An important finding reveals that Taize--a Protestant community--recognizes many of the sacraments and mythological symbols that churches of the Reformation often disregard. Hence, there is now in effect sacramental reconciliation between Taize and the Roman Catholic Church. One result of this rapprochement is the daily distribution of communion and the weekly celebration of the eucharist for Protestants and Catholics, alike, at the Community. Yet it is observed that while Taize and Rome employ other-world, or transcendent, phrases in their understanding of doctrine, Taize visitors often interpret elements of Christian myth via this-world, or immanent, metaphors. The type of perception appears to be influenced by the nature of a visitor's social mobility, social class, and religiosity. Further scholarly attention to Taize is recommended as the Community is growing in popular appeal as a place for international pilgrimage in the modern world. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Social Structure and Development

Recommended Citation

ROSS, SALLY B, "THE SOCIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TAIZE COMMUNITY AS A RELIGIOUS PHENOMENON OF OUR TIME" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8727847.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8727847

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