Truquen a la porta: Un estudi sociològic sobre les transformacions contemporànies d'un monestir

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


In recent years, various scholars have observed how, in the context of a crisis in institutional and traditional religion, monasticism is experiencing a period of innovation and unexpected popularity (Jonveaux i Palmisano, 2016; Jonveaux et al., 2014). In a similar vein, this research examines contemporary transformations in a Benedictine monastery of women. Focusing on a singular monastery in the larger Catalan monastic map, this investigation aims to illustrate how a traditional, collective, and highly institutionalised religious institution such as a monastery transforms and relates to the contemporary religious landscape by actively refracting rather than passively reflecting its distinct characteristics. Thus, by adopting an ethnographic methodology and engaging with the empirical data theoretically through diverse approaches from the sociology of religion and the classical and contemporary sociological theory this work analyses the changes in the logics of the monastic institution and its public projection. The research analytically describes and discusses the adaptive processes of 'detotalisation', 'retraditionalisation', and 'spiritualisation' by which the monastery has creatively transformed, while conserving its distinctive character, in order to maintain its plausibility for a new generation of nuns who were admitted in the mid-nineties, and for the public who currently visit the guest quarters. The results of this analysis illuminate the relevance and the interest of monasticism as a strategic context of study that condenses and, in turn, manifests central issues in religion in the late-modern age. Additionally, the study contributes to current understandings of the changing forms of traditional, communal, and institutional religion as well as its relationships to emerging expressions of individualised, subjectivised, and detraditionalised religiosity.
Date of Award2 Dec 2016
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorJoan Estruch Gibert (Director) & Maria del Mar Griera Llonch (Director)

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