Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 27, No 1 (2008)

Societal Activity of the Polish Parish—Continuity and Change

Elżbieta Firlit
Issued Date: 17 Aug 2008


Both sociological analyses and everyday observation point to the special role the Roman Catholic parish plays in everyday and ceremonial life of Polish society and also the multifunctional role of this institution in organizing social life at a local level. For the majority of Polish society the parish was and remains not only a church institution but a close and friendly place to which people feel emotionally related. It is an important part of local micro space, a small private motherland
where varied levels of human existence converge. Socio-political, economic and cultural changes taking place after the Polish systemic breakthrough of June 1989 have created a new context in which all social institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church with its central microstructure—the parish—function. The systemic changes including the process of creating and crystallizing out new political, economic and socio-cultural rules enforces deinstitutionalization of many former rules of activity, re-institutionalization (change) of some rules for others and also making new rules (Morawski 1998, 12–17). Appearance of a new social order, which was both marked by exogenous features and stimulated by endogenous sources of changes,
resulted in the necessity for all institutions in Poland, Roman Catholic parishes included, to adapt and modify the rules of their activity to the conditions of the system’s change.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v27i1.85


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