Ethnology of Religion


  • Liudmyla O. Fylypovych



The ethnology of religion as a relatively new discipline and a separate branch of religious studies, which arose as a result of interdisciplinary study of ethnos and religion, studies various aspects of their interaction. First, within the framework of the ethnology of religion, terminological and semantic problems are solved: how to define and which semantics to put into the concept of ethnos and religion, ethnic religion, national religion, national church, and others like that. Secondly, this science considers the ontological status of ethnic group and religion, that is, the possible existence of religion and ethnos in their interconnection and interaction. Second, the ethnology of religion poses and decides whether religion is an indispensable, organic feature of the ethnic group and what is (in structural terms) religion about ethnos and ethnos in relation to religion. Investigating the functionality of religion and ethnos, the ethnology of religion, fourthly, deals with the problem of the origin and the origins of these two phenomena: whether they are one-time or different. Fifthly, the influence of religion on the formation of an ethnic group is revealed, and vice versa (how the ethnos forms its religion and what changes it makes to others, taking the latter as their own). Sixth, the ethnology of religion determines the patterns of ethnicity and religion in their interaction. And last, the ethnology of religion has to predict the prospects of the interrelations and mutual influence of the ethnic group and religion on the future.