This paper explores the concept of folk religiosity within rural space in Romania, taking into account the secularization theories and the contemporary shape of ritual practices in small traditional communities. The reference to some quantifying sociological results destined to measure the religiosity of Romanians reveles the necessity to determine the special situation of folk ceremonies in the synthetical approach of sociologists of religion. With the help of ethnographic data provided by our recent field research, we try to elucidate the social functions of religious communal rituals in their traditional settings. A typology of social motivation of these unsysthematic rituals affected of lack of „religiously correctness” is drawn from the original confessional motivation, to the contemporary ones, such as the hedonistic and social solidarity motivation of the calendaric and parish level ceremonies. The ethnological background offers a qualitative, applied and neo-durkheimian alternative of the general sociology of religion in its rural case studies. Not following accurately the Western paradigma of secularization, rural realities in Romanian still traditional society are related to environmental and economic challenges, one of the widespread reason for appealling the supernatural forces, such as we investigate in a Moldavian rural community, with conservative lifestyle. In a structured comparison with that one, a village near the Danube river, in southwestern Oltenia proves that ritual life is maintained by young generations, even though the performers generally ignore the belief system and the religious imagery that generated the ritual action. The paper proposes an interdisciplinary view on a specific aspect of rural life, envisaged in its historical and functional features, an important item in the contemporary struggle between globalism and localism. More related to the „belonging without believing” model of approaching religiosity, the Romanian rural community tends to much less a community of faith and more a community of practice or ritual.
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