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ISOR - About




In this webpage you will find information about the research projects on religious diversity carried out by the research group ISOR. From this portal, you can search and download documentation on the projects, publications and other material derived from the investigations undertaken by our team. If you want to consult information on the research group ISOR and its other research lines, click on “Back to ISOR”.

Introducing the research line

Already during the final years of the last century the obsolescence of applying the classical model of sociological analysis applied to the religious organisations became increasingly evident. It was a model based on the Weberian distinction between churches and sects which had given rise to numerous investigations of all kinds. This model, though, had finally led to an impasse. The reason was this was due to, on the one hand, the degradation of the sociological concept of sect, too often transformed into an ideological weapon used to stigmatize certain religious groups. On the other hand, there was the increasing inadequacy of the Weberian concept of church used to characterise the religious organizations which were not stigmatised and which enjoyed an aureole air of respectability. And, last but not least, the progressive implantation introduction within to our societies of religious non-Christian religious traditions increasingly questioned the pertinence of the concepts of church and sect.

This led us to elaborate create a new model for analysing the religious organizations, centred focusing in on the study of their basic characteristics but without establishing classifications and typologies and, obviously, abandoning any kind of value judgement. Thanks to a commission from the Direcció General d’Afers Religiosos Directorate General of Religious Matters of the Catalan government, we were able to apply and implement this model. Since the year 2000 the Research Unit has dedicates itself to the elaboration creation of a data basis base which –fruit of field work, interviews, documentary analysis and direct observations– assembles the maximum amount of information possible information about every one each of the religious traditions existing in Catalonia (with the sole exclusion of the majority Catholic tradition).

The map of the religions in Catalonia –which at ain its first stage gave rise to the publication of Les altres religions (2004, second edition 2005, 433 pages)– aspires to providing complete information of the utmost exactness accuracy and completeness. The idea is to assemble information in as objective a fashion as possible about all the minority religious groups present in Catalonia, without exceptions. On the other hand Furthermore, the map is permanently actualized constantly updated thanks to by means of a constant continuous research task of investigation covering the whole of the Catalan territory.

The research group ISOR has undertaken many research projects on religious diversity issues. In this sense, the team has been carrying out several projects on the management of religious diversity in the context of different institutions such as the penitentiary, the education, the health and the funerary services. Other research projects have focused on the role of local councils and interfaith platforms in the governance of religious minorities . If you want to get more information on the research projects you can browse through the web or email us in