Q-methodology in the study of "weak religiosity"
Abstract. Contemporary sociology of religion lacks an approach that allows identifying and interpreting the essential characteristics of “weak religiosity”. The article is aimed at filling this gap. By “weak religiosity” we mean various types of religiosity of not fully churched Orthodox Christians. By now, these characteristics have been interpreted only in the negative mode, i.e. through the absence of a number of religious practices. We suggest trying to put these interpretations into a “positive” mode, which involves finding the essential features of such religiosity. We present a new method for collecting data on religiosity. It was developed by us based on the Q-methodology. The Q-methodology involves a certain number of predetermined meanings within the thematic field of research. In our case, these are the areas of ultimate meanings, some of which may reflect religious experience. The inventory includes eight spheres: 1) traditional religious commitments; 2) spirituality; 3) family; 4) work; 5) politics; 6) body; 7) individualism; 8) environmentalism. These spheres allow limiting the description of thematic fields around various levels of transcendences according to T. Luckmann (little, intermediate, and great). Each sphere is revealed through a set of statements describing potential transcendental experiences at different levels or indicating the importance of this experience. Descriptions (in total) are formulated in the third person. The respondents assemble the image of their worldview from these statements.