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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Ediţia nr.2 din 2005  

  Rezumat:  Secularisation, De-christianization, Laicization in Historiographical Debates. Today we live in a secularised world, but the slow gliding into primarily mundane concerns, to the detriment of the Divine sky has a long history! The medieval period had already meant the progressive detachment of a Christian elite, which has widened, from the clerical world to the secular environment, but, that Christianised fraction of Europe-as it was only natural in that period of the childhood of science and technology-has integrated in the religion of salvation many terrestrial motivations and fears. In the religious living of medieval Europe one can meet multiple dubious doses of Christianity and paganism (camouflaged especially in popular religion!) and a grave propensity towards the mundane, which has been ineffectively taken by the Christian churches, Catholic and Orthodox. The end of the Middle Ages can be seen as a battle between the old visions, which struggled to not perish and the new ones, which attempted to survive, but the most significant phenomenon has been the bridging of the gap between sacred and profane. In all eras the space of the scared has been disputed by important and antagonistic forces, such as the Church and the State, which have wanted, each in its turn, to impose their sovereign authority on society! Five centuries ago the reversal of the rule of the divine was accelerated, especially under the impact of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, and then of the movement of philosophical and scientific ideas of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the French Revolution of 1789, imposed by the spirits increasingly fascinated by rationality and the autonomy of temporal power. During five centuries Europe has been the location for experiences concerning different stages of civilisation and culture, of psychological structures and specific collective memories, but also by the meeting between cultural, philosophical, scientific and ideological horizons, which have modelled the visions about the world in a modern sense. A serious and ample analysis of contemporary multi-disciplinary research reveals incontestably the fact that the last five centuries have meant, essentially, a slow and global recession of Christianity, of religious practice, of Christian normative values to the benefit of freedom of thought and of action, which favoured the profane. Progressively and slowly the west has emerged from the enchanted world of the divine, against a background of a process called modernisation. Modernity has constituted, to a great extent, starting from the subjective and anthropocentric orientation of Renaissance humanism and of the classical age. The autonomy of man has meant the expulsion of Christianity from the citadel and the edification of the primacy of human will in the creation of the city of man. The transformation of man in subjectum and of the world in image has turned the teaching about the world, from the eighteenth century into teaching about man. The philosophical and scientific spirits of the enlightenment have felt the drama and the obsession of finding new answers to the essential issues of life, but their propositions have changed or have questioned the great tradition of Christianity. In the age of enlightenment science, philosophy an dart have entered into dramatic conflict with the Catholic Church, especially because, under the pretext of shedding religious prejudice a brutal assault took place against ecclesiastical practices, against Christian institutions, to which the state has been a partner. That is why modern western thought and the modern state has germinated the seed of de-sacralisation, that is, the bestowing of total social and political autonomy, without reference to divinity, as a foundation to the terrestrial (profane) human condition, finite and fragile! The concept of secularisation thus comprises numerous interactions with that of de-sacralisation, demagnification, in the sense that people have no longer lived, within the framework of modernity, in a sacralised human and cosmic order, in the Christian sense. De-sacralization, as an affirmation of the autonomy of the profane has not been left without consequences, because the demystification of the Christian sacred has been followed by a re-mythisation and resacralization, around the new values and instances (nature, rationality, nation, progress, state, homeland, heroes, leaders etc.) which have marginalised the traditional ones. The modification of the Christian universe, through the assault of new beliefs and behaviours, which have privileged the terrestrial world, is designated, not only through the term of secularisation, but also through that of de-christianisation. The Christian churches have seen in secularisation a phenomenon of de-christianisation and of paganism, while atheists and anti clericalists saw in it a phenomenon of liberation and emancipation. We are frequently tempted to talk about Christianisation, de-christianisation, of evolution and revolutions, at a time when people were not aware yet of the metamorphoses, the originality and specificity of their period.  
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