THERE – Theory and Empiricism of Religious Evolution: Foundation of a Research Program

5. Evolutionary Foundation of Systems Theory (fn)

The sui generis character of religion is meant in the sense of Luhmann (2013a, 33): “[…] social systems are observing systems—sui generis ones, with their own distinctions and with no inherent capacity for perception.” However, the sui generis character does not mean that religion proceeds in isolation: “By reconfiguring the macro-structural and cultural physical, temporal, social, and symbolic spaces, as well as differentiating micro-level aspects like roles or goals, religious autonomy makes religion a force sui generis. It provides conduits for religious goals and decisions to impact political or economic orientations in ways that alter how political or economic actors orient their attitudes or actions, and therefore, affects the historical path a given local, regional, state-level, or international group of people embark upon” (Abrutyn 2013, 15–16).

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