A systems theory of religion by Niklas Luhmann

By Niklas Luhmann

A structures idea of Religion, nonetheless unfinished at Niklas Luhmann's demise in 1998, used to be first released in German years later due to the editorial paintings of André Kieserling. certainly one of Luhmann's most vital tasks, it exemplifies his later paintings whereas redefining the subject material of the sociology of faith. faith, for Luhmann, is likely one of the many functionally differentiated social platforms that make up sleek society. All such subsystems consist solely of communications and all are "autopoietic," that's to claim, self-organizing and self-generating. right here, Luhmann explains how faith offers a code for dealing with the complexity, opacity, and uncontrollability of our global. faith capabilities to make sure the indefinite, to reconcile the immanent and the transcendent.

Synthesizing ways as disparate because the philosophy of language, ancient linguistics, deconstruction, and formal structures theory/cybernetics, A structures idea of Religion takes on vital themes that diversity from religion's that means and evolution to secularization, turning a long time of sociological assumptions on their head. It offers us with a clean vocabulary and a clean philosophical and sociological method of certainly one of society's such a lot primary phenomena.

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And one need not have a “meaning criterion” for it, which would only lead to the question of whether the criterion itself is meaningful or not. In the medium of meaning, of course, one is able to think that there are entities such as stones (for instance), entities for which the world has no meaning. That may, incidentally, also be the case for brains. The medium of meaning thus contains evidence of its own boundaries. But in that case, one is are also saying that these boundaries cannot be exceeded by meaningful operations.

For our purposes, it is enough to recognize the problem and avoid deciding in advance for one or the other sequence. But let us focus on the case at hand. We are assuming it involves the distinction between the observable and unobservable. Other distinctions can follow thereafter, depending how the observation field of religion develops. However, where we have to start is with the distinction between the observable and unobservable. That distinction does not permit a meaningful (productive) crossing of the boundaries.

We want to stick with this terminology, but we shall have to clarify it as it applies itself, since it is an autological concept. The distinction between observer and distinction is itself a distinction, causing us to ask: who is the observer here? Or more precisely: how must an observer be constituted so that he is in a position to distinguish between his distinctions and himself? Starting with the stipulation “draw a distinction,” [the British mathematician] George Spencer-Brown attempts to develop a calculus that is able to handle problems in arithmetic and algebra with only one operator.

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