Contemporary Anthropology of Religion

Hierarchy and Pluralism

Living Religious Difference in Catholic Poland

Authors: Pasieka, A.

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About this book

Based on an ethnographic study of rural Poland, this book investigates the challenges of maintaining pluralism in a religiously homogenous society. By examining a multireligious and multiethnic community, Pasieka reveals paradoxes inscribed into the practice and discourse of pluralism.

About the authors

Agnieszka Pasieka is a research fellow at the University of Vienna, Austria. 

Reviews

“Hierarchy and pluralism is a thoughtful and sensitive ethnography that will appeal to a number of different readerships. In addition to being very valuable to those interested in the anthropologies of Poland and of religion, it would be apt for courses teaching ethnographic methods, posing as it does such interesting questions about how the scale of a fieldsite relates to the research questions being explored. The book will invite cross-cultural comparison with other societies that include multiple religions … .” (Siobhan Magee, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 23, 2017)

“Pasieka tries to strike a delicate balance between documenting the dominance of the Catholic Church and capturing evidence for pluralistic coexistence. I appreciated the author’s enthusiasm to identify small possibilities for spaces in which minorities might be recognized. Ultimately, however, the book demonstrates the limits of Polish ‘ecumenism,’ showing that multireligious and multiethnic conviviality is fragile and ambiguous and perhaps more akin to a veneer in Rozstaje, where it can quickly turn toward intolerance and xenophobia.” (Joanna Mishtal, American Anthropologist, Vol. 118 (4), December, 2016)

“Her book functions on two levels: as a fine-grained analysis of the religious practice of inhabitants of a multireligious area within a mostly religiously homogeneous country, and as a theoretical inquiry into the ways in which the exercise and expression of religious pluralism can nevertheless lend sup- port to 'naturalized' hierarchies between ethnic and religious groups. … Hierarchy and Pluralism makes a valuable contribution to the anthropological literature on contemporary religion, practice theory, and postsocialism.” (Marysia H. Galbrait, American Ethnologist, Vol. 43 (2), May 2016)

“Pasieka’s book is accessible and even quite eloquent. It is one of those rare academic books that is actually a pleasure to read. … I cannot recall another book about Poland from the past decade that has achieved this goal with such eloquence and with such solid argumentation.” (Brian Porter-Szucs, H-Poland, networks.h-net.org, January, 2016)

“Pasieka stresses and illustrates the importance of studying religion through understanding how it is lived by people … . she tells a convincing story which is always interesting and provides an excellent example of how to conduct productive fieldwork. I recommend the book without any hesitation whatsoever to students, academics, and lay persons with the slightest interest in learning about religions and how people live them. … Hierarchy and Pluralism is one of the best monographs I have ever read.” (Eileen Barker, Rascee, Vol. 8 (1), 2015)



"In a masterful study of pluralism and religion in Poland, Pasieka's intensive ethnographic work shows how, in the context of continued and sometimes sharp boundaries defined by religion and ethnicity, ordinary villagers construct their own, pluralistic social worlds not nullifying those boundaries but allowing overlapping and shifting friendships and cooperation to flourish." - John R. Bowen, Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts and Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, USA; author of Why the French Don't Like Headscarves (2006)

"Pasieka manages to bring to life not only the complex social, religious, and cultural relations shaping daily life in the region, but actually shows how diversity and pluralism, as social constructs and normative political projects are experienced and performed by inhabitants of the region. The rich ethnography, which is theoretically grounded and historically situated, ultimately allows the author to make convincing claims about broader issues related to ethnic and religious pluralism, issues currently at the heart of contemporary political and academic debates." - Genevieve Zubrzycki, Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and Director of the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies, University of Michigan, USA

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Introduction: Seven Ways to God

    Pasieka, Agnieszka

    Pages 1-31

  • Poland: A History of Pluralism

    Pasieka, Agnieszka

    Pages 35-58

  • Making Pluralism: The People and the Place

    Pasieka, Agnieszka

    Pages 59-91

  • Caroling History: Heteroglossic Narratives and Religious Boundaries

    Pasieka, Agnieszka

    Pages 95-118

  • Religion and Memories of Socialism

    Pasieka, Agnieszka

    Pages 119-144

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-48286-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50052-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-50549-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Hierarchy and Pluralism
Book Subtitle
Living Religious Difference in Catholic Poland
Authors
Series Title
Contemporary Anthropology of Religion
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-48286-0
DOI
10.1057/9781137482860
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-50052-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-50549-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 261
Topics