By Niklas Luhmann
Synthesizing methods as disparate because the philosophy of language, old linguistics, deconstruction, and formal structures theory/cybernetics, A structures thought of Religion takes on vital subject matters that variety from religion's which means and evolution to secularization, turning many years of sociological assumptions on their head. It presents us with a clean vocabulary and a clean philosophical and sociological method of considered one of society's so much primary phenomena.
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Additional info for A systems theory of religion
Yet this is subject to revision if we accept the results of our previous considerations. For world and meaning are now being presented as objects that cannot be negated. And distinguishing is such a constitutive moment in the operation of observing that we cannot negate away the one side of the distinction without destroying the possibility of observation itself. In the operative use of distinctions, we cannot assume that the other side of the distinction is insignificant because it is not at all there.
But the risk of a religious communication claiming it is meaningful cannot be effectively eliminated, because that risk lies in the temporal dimension, not the factual one. The stabilizing of religion in textual form opens up a domain of sensitivity that can also be used against religion. After these initial considerations, it should no longer need to be explained that religion has to be sought in the forms of the medium of meaning. But this still does not explain which distinctions specify religion (compared to the rest of the world), and what will enable religion to reject what is “meaningless” and build bridges to a meaningful life.
Each distinction, once it has been marked, provides a new freedom to concern itself with additional distinctions. This very marking has such an effect because it makes a distinction distinguishable, in contrast to simply moving on to what it signifies. 43 At this level of abstraction, one may already see a relationship of religion to freedom, even if it is only the freedom to doubt. In addition, this lets us see (and we can expand on this another time) that religion can only offer paradox as its final, concluding thought.