Re: [S.h.: Religion and civil society

Posting to Autocat

On 05/03/2011 05:41 PM, Gene Fieg wrote:

Is there any relationship between the ideas of Religion and civil society and Civil religion (also in the LCSH). If there is a difference, how will the patron know what he/she is dealing with? After looking at the 670s and the scope notes, the distinction can be a bit muddy.


The LC scope note for “Civil religion”:
“Here are entered works describing a collection of shared national beliefs, symbols, and rituals that are borrowed from religion but free of association with any single religious sect and which function as a source of meaning and social solidarity.”

There is no scope note for either Religion and civil society, or for Civil society, so we are left on our own. I normally try to glean something from analysing the bib records in the LC database, but I won’t spend my time on that here, so:

Avoiding Wikipedia, the World Bank has this:
“The World Bank has adopted a definition of civil society developed by a number of leading research centers: “the term civil society to refer to the wide array of non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) therefore refer to a wide of array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations”.”,,contentMDK:20101499~menuPK:244752~pagePK:220503~piPK:220476~theSitePK:228717,00.html

Seems clear. “Civil religion” means the revering of certain beliefs not of religion. I will bring up Fascism and National socialism, which had many symbols of the Leader, the flags, the ceremonies and so on. All countries have these beliefs.

Civil society seems to be the entire non-governmental aspects of our lives. The World Bank emphasizes not-for-profit, but I would personally want to check that somewhere.

This provides a good example of how putting the subject headings into something like a wiki could allow lots of catalogers to add lots of scope notes, which our files need tens of thousands of. More scope notes would not only help searchers, but catalogers, too, since we could be faster, since it would be easier to find out what a heading means, and we could be more consistent in subject assignment.



One Comment

  1. Faith Groups said:

    Religion has a renewed public profile in the world today. Within civil society in particular, faith-based organizations are developing into significant lobbying forces for social change, and religious networks are serving as important conduits for transnational processes and influences. Thanks a lot.

    March 8, 2012

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