Turning 'Society' into 'Religion': A Processing Approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Actors become what they are in society, through processing clues from the surrounding environment. Hence, we need to explicate how this processing is done. That is the basic idea behind the processing approach. For example, after 1800, the Catholic Church rebuilt itself anew as a centralized church organization by taking up and processing the organizational opportunities that modern society was offering.
The first part of this article analyzes the religious agents, the creative actors who process their environment. The second and main part deals with the 'processing processes' that agents are performing. It compares processing with kindred concepts such as inculturation, appropriation, translation, and process. The process of processing is subdivided into six analytical steps. Strategies to detect the main substantial processing processes of an agent in a society - in this case, the Catholic Church in modern society - are discussed. In the third part, some broader consequences for theorizing history are drawn, such as the inescapability of the present and the anarchic character of history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Making of Christianities in History
Subtitle of host publicationA Processing Approach
Place of PublicationTurnhout
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-58781-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameBibliothèque de la Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique


  • Processing Approach
  • History of Christianity


Dive into the research topics of 'Turning 'Society' into 'Religion': A Processing Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this