Accepted paper:

Reflecting upon religious heritage and spiritual utopia in Portugal and Greece

Author:

Eugenia Roussou (CRIA, ISCTE-IUL)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on comparative fieldwork between Portugal and Greece, this paper seeks to explore the interaction between Christianity and ‘new spirituality’, in an attempt to reflect upon the space between Christian heritage and spiritual utopia in the Portuguese and Greek religioscape.

Paper long abstract:

Portugal and Greece, along with their European counterparts, are considered to be traditionally Christian. Their religious heritage, however, is challenged in recent years by the appearance of new forms of spirituality that claim a vivid presence in the Portuguese and Greek religioscape. Drawing on comparative ethnographic fieldwork between Lisbon and Athens, this paper seeks to explore the interaction between Christianity and 'new spirituality' in the two countries. It aims to show in what ways and to what extend contemporary Portuguese and Greek religiosity is still influenced by its main religious heritage, namely Catholic and Orthodox Christianity equivalently, while at the same time being open to other spiritual influences. How does this 'new religious pluralism' (Berger 2007) affect every day religious practice in Lisbon and Athens? Does the appearance of new forms of spirituality indicate a level of alienation from religious heritage and towards a new spiritual reality? And to what degree is this new reality a spiritual utopia instead?

panel Reli004
From religious heritages to spiritual utopias: reflecting upon religiosity of the 21st century