Socjologiczna analiza świadectwa chrześcijańskiego

Józef Majka


The witnessing of salvation, which is one of the basic functions of the Church, is realized In a historical and social reality and as such is subject to sociological analysis as far as it is a religious and social act, a system of social transmission of volues; it is subject to sociological analysis as far as methods and means proper to similar social acts are applied. One must remember, however, specific character of this type of a social act which is a particular way of participating in religious truths and thus having its own particular way of their transmission. The author tries to define this specificity, at the same time, showing in what sense the believer of a religious truth may be its witness.

The concept of Christian witnessing, witnessing of salvation, has an analogous character and thus the concept of the Witness as an object of the witnessing is analogous. This Witness is Christ himself, the Church and also every Christian. Te article deals also with the conditions which are necessarily met by every witness of salvation. Analysing the object of witnessing the author discusses the problem of integrality and clearness of the witnessing and the so-called policy of witnessing.

Turning to an analysis of means of witnessing the author discusses in turn: witnessing of the Christian presence, verbal witnessing, especially dialogue, finally witnessing of an act and symbol, taking into consideration, in particular, the importance of witnessing of sacrifice and also participation in liturgical rites as a means of witnessing.

The author discusses not only sociological methods of social actions but also those specific for witnessing such as the method of participation and the method of a dialogue. Other methods such as that of prevention, positive persuation and social suggestion are examined from the point of view of their usefulness in the action of witnessing with an emphasis put on a specific character of the application of these methods.

Discussing finally the goals and results of witnessing the author distinguishes objective goals of witnessing from those put forward by the witness, and those goals which the witness tires to achieve from the motivation of the witness. These distinctions allow one to evaluate not only the very act but also its results. This problem may — according to the author — constitue a subject for a separate examination and analysis.

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