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Kamarás, István; writer and sociologist of culture, arts and religion.

István Kamarás (1941) is a PhD, associate professor at the University of Veszprém. He graduated from the University of Budapest (ELTE) in Hungarian Literature, Library Science, and Sociology.

Professional experiences:

National Library (head of the department of the sociology of reading, 1968-85); Institute for Cultural Studies (empirical researcher in the sociology of religion, 1985-90); National Institute of Education (research and development staff member in charge of ethics, religious studies and a combination of „human studies”, 1990-95); Janus Pannonius University of Pécs (profes-sor teaching courses in philosophy, anthropology, sociology of arts and religion 1996-99); University of Veszprém (professor, founder of academic subject “Knowledge about human, ethics and society”, as well as founder of department of Anthropology and Ethics, 1999-)

Research areas:

the reception of art and literature, the priest’s role, Catholic rectory activities, catho-lic renewal movements, and new religious movements

Intellectual profile:

The keywords of the author’s interests and works are human, culture and religion. Their relation-ship István Kamarás has examined from the viewpoints of “What is there?”, “Why is it so?” and “What could it be?”, not only by sociological and socio-psychological means, but also as a so-ciographer as well as a writer of utopias, novels, tales and radio plays. During the decades of the communist dictatorship, he directed an internationally acknowledged workshop for research of reading for 17 years, participated an alternative (maverick) cultural movement alias Reading Camp and also the semi-legal movement of catholic base communities. After the political transi-tions in 1989 he became the leader of an intellectual workshop elaborating a subject of ethics and moral anthropology rather new in Hungary, and also its course books and curricula. Later he founded the major of ethics, moral anthropology and social studies at the University of Veszprém, as the first of its kind in Hungary. He was a charter member of the Institute for Strategic Research. He has been directing the Section of the Sociology of Religion of the Hungarian Sociology Asso-ciation for 5 years. He was a president of the Club of Synod—which association helps the renova-tion of the Catholic Church by dialogues—for 8 years. Since 2004 he has been the vice president of the Hungarian Pax Romana intellectual association working in the same spirit. In 1998 his chil-dren book won the price of the Children Book of the Year in Hungary, in 2003 he won the Szabó Zoltán Prize for his sociographies.

Major publications:

Értéktérkép (Value Map, Szépirodalmi Kiadó, Budapest, 1989); Lelkierőmű Nagymaroson (Spiritual Power Plant at Nagymaros, religiography, Vita, Budapest, 1989); Júdások vagy Péterek? (Judases or Peters? Egyházfórum, Budapest, 1992); Olvasatok (Reading Variants, Osiris, Budapest, 1996); Bevezetés az embertanba (Introduction to Anthropology, Pedagógus Szakma Megújítása Projekt Programiroda, Budapest, 1998); Krisnások Magyarországon (Krishna devotees in Hungary, Iskolakultúra, Budapest, 1998); Judas oder Petrus? (Religiographie von berufswechselnden Priestern. Kirchenforum, Luzern, 1999); Erkölcstan (Ethics, course book, Krónika Nova, Budapest. 2001); Olvasó a határon (Reader at the Border, Pont Kiadó - Savaria University Press, Budapest, 2002); A Trilla szólamai (Parts of the Trill, readings of an one-minute-story by István Örkény, Holnap Kiadó, Budapest, 2003); Kis magyar religiográfia (Small Hungarian Religiography, Pro Pannonia, Budapest, 2003); Olvasásügy (Reading Affairs, Iskolakultúra, Budapest, 2005)

Major publications with others:

Reading in a Changing World (Verlag Dokumentation, Publishers, München, 1976); Reading Choices in Manchester and Miskolc (with B. Luckha, KMK, Budapest, 1980); Reformvár (Reform Castle, with Csaba Varga, Magvető, Budapest, 1985); Studies on Research in Reading and Libraries (K.G. Saur, München—London—New York—Paris, 1991); New Religions Phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe (Borowik—Babiński eds. Zaklad Wydawiczny omos, Kraków, 1997); A mai világ és a jövő forgatókönyvei (Scenarios of Today’s and Tomorrow’s World, Csaba Varga—Tímea Tibori eds. HÉA Stratégiakutató Intézet—MTA Szociológiai Intézet—Magyar Kapu Alapítvány, Budapest, 1997); Magyar jövőképek (Hungarian Foresights, Csaba Varga—Tímea Tibori eds. HÉA Stratégiakutató Intézet, Budapest, 1998); Kirche in Aufbruch (András Máté-Tóth—Pavel Nikluščák eds. Scwabenverlag, Ostfilden, 2001); A zárva várt nyugat (Closed West Long Ex-pected, János Mátyás Kovács ed. 2000—Sík Kiadó, Budapest, 2002); Sociology of Religion in Hun-gary (Miklós Tomka ed. Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba, 2004)

Other Activities:

The author has written also radio-plays, novels, short stories and children books. In 1998 his book titled Csigamese (Snail Story) won the price “Children’s book of the year”.

e-mail: kamarasi@t-online.hu

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