Abstract: The aim of this paper is to give yet another example of the analytical strenght of Niklas Luhmann’s theory. The example will be drawn from the contemporary situation of religion, or more precisely from the as of yet unresolved question of a religious medium. The central point is whether or not some large-scale attempt was made during the Twentieth Century to coin a new religious medium, one different from those considered in Luhmann’s works. Paragraphs 1 and 2 will summarize Luhmannian analysis of contemporary religion. Paragraph 3 will discuss the justification for focusing attention on the religious medium’s issue. Paragraphs 4 and 5 will be devoted to testing the chances of a certain kind of ritual to work as religious medium. In doing so we shall assess the difference between performance-centred rituals and liturgy-centred rituals [Humphrey Laidlaw 1994]. Paragraph 6 will be discussed if the Vatican II liturgical reform can be classified as a large-scale attempt to elaborate and circulate a new religious medium, irregardless of its success or failure.
Diotallevi, L. (2023). La questione del rito religioso nella società contemporanea. QUADERNI DI TEORIA SOCIALE, 62-92.