CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

In Memoriam: Tadeusz Doktór

by Massimo Introvigne

The Polish scholar of new religious movements Tadeusz Doktór died unexpectedly on the 19th of June, 2007. He was a participant in several CESNUR conferences and we all benefited from his insights about the Polish and Eastern European situation. We publish an obituary written by fellow Polish scholar Irena Borowik




Tadeusz first studied philosophy and psychology at the Catholic University of Lublin, being interested in New Religious Movements from the very beginning. His PhD thesis, under title “Psychosocial Conditions of Participation in Cult Movements” was defended in 1988 at Warsaw University in the Institute of Psychology. Most of his academic career took place at Warsaw University, where he also received habilitation in 2003. Tadeusz was very active; he regularly took part in scientific conferences, being a long-term member of the International Society for Sociology of Religion (SISR) and one of the founders of International for the Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA), to which he was elected as a vice-President in December 2006.

Tadeusz Doktór was an unquestioned authority in all matters concerning New Religious Movements not only in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe but also worldwide. In his scientific interests he moved from more a psychologically oriented perspective and research to the sociology of religion, with a particular interest in a quantitative and comparative perspective. He was engaged in numerous research projects, most recently using empirical data to test various sociological theories of religion.

He published many books and articles in both Polish and English, including (in Polish): Encounters with Astrology (1987), Cult Movements in Poland (1991), Between Medicine and Religion (1994), New Religious and Para-Religious Movements in Poland. A Short Vocabulary (1999), Religious and Moral Pluralism in Poland  (with I. Borowik, 2001), Religious Innovations. Movements, Participants, Social Reactions” (2002).

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, Barbara, his three sons and two granddaughters.