Ciências sociais e secularização : um estudo sobre a trajetoria de vida religiosa de profissionais formados em ciências sociais na Paraíba.
Alves, Edvaldo Carvalho
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This paper is an approach to the debate on the possible existence of an elective affinity between the study of Social Sciences and the macro-process of secularization. Secularization here is understood as the gradual, non-linear, historically and geographically determined loss of the comprehensiveness of religious discourse, which is expressed, among other factors, by the separation and autonomization of the social spheres and the consequent privatization of religion. To achieve such a goal, a group of Social Scientists from the state of Paraíba, graduated between 1980 and 2005, were chosen as the empirical space of analysis. By means of in-depth interviews their life histories were recovered with a focus on their religious views and practices before, during and after their studies as social scientists, while an attempt was conducted to apprehend by which means this process was able to change their views and practices towards secularization. By analyzing the content of the interviews, it was possible to conclude that there is an elective affinity relationship between the study of Social Sciences and secularization. This occurs because the study of the discipline, even tough it does not contribute directly to the construction of an atheist or agnostic view, it does offer the tools required for the constitution of a secular consciousness, where religion is perceived as a discourse that responds to individual needs and interests, a matter of personal choice, that means, religion is viewed and experienced by the Social Scientists analyzed, as a discourse, in modern times, that has its meaning given by the soteriological function it performs.