Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis is a publication series published by the Donner Institute for research in Religious and Cultural History in Åbo, Finland. The aim of the institute, which is attached to the Foundation of Åbo Akademi University, is to conduct and promote scholarly research in the field of religion.
The current issue deals with a central aspect of religious social life: the formation of institutions. Religions are always embedded in a context formed by time and place, culture and history; hence, they are part of the socio-cultural structures of the communities in which they occur. Institutions tend to provide stability to religious life, fixing it in forms that endure over time. Human religiosity is a dynamic phenomenon, however, fluid and changeable. Therefore, the structures of religious life are formed by the opposite forces of stabilising institutions and dynamic change.
Several of the articles included in the current volume deal with theoretical aspects of dynamics and institutionalisation in the religious sphere, both from sociological and psychological perspectives. The volume also includes ethnographic accounts of dynamics and institutions from Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya and Eastern Tanzania to Finland.
The volume is based on papers read at the Symposium on Dynamics and Institution held at Åbo on the 6th-8th of September 1976. Ed. by Haralds Biezais. Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell, 1976.