Research Cloud 1 Ambiguity and decision-making

Religions can be differentiated according to the degree to which they are embedded in cultural contexts. Religious customs, symbols and rites are often so strongly integrated into local, regional and national cultures that they can barely be distinguished from them; there is then a high degree of traditionality, informality and tolerance or indifference with regard to ambiguity. The tension between cultural-religious ambiguity and religiously motivated insistence on decision-making involves phenomena such as normative ambiguity, religious indecision and persistence of tradition, but also charismatic upheavals, revival movements and destruction of tradition. Through such innovations, religious communities and movements not only intensify tensions with their own tradition, but also contrast themselves more sharply against other religious groups in their cultural environment.

With regard to the dynamics of tradition and innovation, Research Cloud 1 explores how, by disambiguating traditions that are ambiguous (for example, by reinterpreting them in a fundamentalist way), religions can become the motor of social change, the focal point of political protest, the attractor of youth cultures critical of civilization, the power source of charitable and cultural initiatives, or the generator of emancipative movements. The media instruments used by religious communities, the mobilization strategies that they rely on, and the social inequalities that they link up with – these are all important factors in determining the effects that they have.

Research Cloud 1 Ambuity and decision builds on research carried out in the past funding phase (2013-2018) as part of the then platform H Cultural Ambiguity.

Coordination of Research Cloud 1: