Politics and Religion


Why Has Religiosity in Poland not Changed since 1989? Five Hypotheses

Irena Borowika1 c1

a1 Jagiellonian University


Attitudes about religion in Polish society have scarcely changed since 1989, in spite of radical political and economic transformation over the past 20 years, as survey data show. The question is why? In the following article, the author develops five alternative hypotheses to explain this phenomenon. Each of the hypotheses relates to some function of religion that is relevant in contemporary times. Among other things, historical circumstances, the role of Catholicism as a civil religion, security, and hidden privatization form the context in which one may explain the continuing vitality of religion in Poland.


c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Irena Borowik, Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, ul. Grodzka 52, 31-044, Kraków, Poland. E-mail: uzborowi@cyf-kr.edu.pl

Irena Borowik is a Professor of Sociology at Jagiellonian University, Cracow, and president of Nomos Publishing House. She is the author of a number of books in both Polish and English. Her publications in English include New religious phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe, co-edited with Grzegorz Babiński, Church-state relations in Central and Eastern Europe, Religion and social change in post-communist Europe, co-edited with Miklós Tomka, Religion, churches and the scientific studies of religion: Poland and Ukraine, and Religions, Churches, and Religiosity in Post-Communist Europe.