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Religion

Church attendance – Confidence in the church – Importance of God – Traditional beliefs

Many Europeans are proud of it. Some think it is too bad. However, both agree: Europe is a secularized continent. Europeans do not go to church anymore, they do not believe in God anymore, and they do not seem to be religious at all. Are these assumptions true? It depends. Unmistakable, some of them are not. One thing is for sure: the old continent is not as secularized at it seems.

importanceofgod

Chart Importance of God, Source: Atlas of European Values

About half of all the Europeans pray or meditate at least once a week. Three out of four Europeans say they are religious persons. Of course, there is a big gap between the more secularized north-western European countries and the more traditional south-eastern ones. However, even in a country like Holland, famous for its liberal tradition, one in four of all the inhabitants attend church. Nevertheless, one assumption is true: most European churches attract fewer believers every year. Especially in the western part of the continent, the old religious institutions are deteriorating, show analyses of the European Values Studies.

However, people who consider themselves as atheists are a small minority, except in France, where almost 15 percent say they are atheist. It is obvious that a vast majority of all the Europeans nominate themselves as religious persons. There are even more people who consider themselves as religious as there are people who attend church. It is a kind of ‘believing without belonging’. People pick and choose religious beliefs, doctrines, and practices and they are mixing and matching them, as they would select food in a cafeteria. Sociologists talk about this trend as a ‘cafeteria religion’, or as ‘church-free spirituality’. Europeans remain religious, their approach is eclectic, and they borrow ideas from several traditions. Meanwhile, many institutionalized churches, especially in the West, are running empty.

visitreligiousservices

Chart Visit religious services, Source: Atlas of European Values

 

Believing_large

Chart Believing, Source: Atlas of European Values

Thank you, Loek Halman!

A highlight of the European Values Conference 2022 was the farewell to Loek Halman. Loek, who has been part of the EVS community for decades, retired from Tilburg University in September 2021. Because public life in the Netherlands, alike most countries of the Western hemisphere, were hampered with COVID-19 restrictions, his close colleagues were unable to organize an appropriate farewell party to Loek at that time. The local organizing team (consisting of Ruud Luijkx, Quita Muis, Tim Reeskens and Inge Sieben) decided that the European Values Conference 2022 was the most suitable moment to celebrate Loek Halman and his contribution to European Values Study.

Preceding Loek’s farewell, the Dutch EVS team has secretly been working to bring together a so-called ‘Liber Amicorum’, a book of friends. For this book, they invited several EVS national program directors, Loek’s colleagues at Tilburg University, and his ‘compagnons de route’ to submit a chapter of approx. 3,000 words; the only request was to rely on EVS data or inspire the study of European values. In the end, 32 chapters and a preface by Wim van de Donk (Rector Magnificus at Tilburg University) were written around five main themes that reflect Loek Halman’s scholarly interest. First of all, several chapters discuss theoretical and methodological challenges in the study of values. A second line of research revolves around the sociology of religion. A third stream of papers presented comparative studies. Studies on the Netherlands composed the fourth part of the book. And last but not least, the final section presented additional country case studies.

Before the official presentation of the book, Inge Sieben opened the session by reflecting on the work and life of Loek Halman. Ruud Luijkx then continued to discuss the importance of Loek to the European Values Study. David Voas was invited to give a keynote lecture on the parental transmission of religiosity. David gave an inspiring lecture with an overview of decades of research into the socialization of religiosity, combining several of his recent insights and also bridging to the EVS and Loek’s research interests. Part of David’s presentation can also be retrieved in his chapter (coauthored with Ingrid Storm) in the Liber Amicorum. With a speech reflecting on Loek’s academic life, Wim van de Donk, Rector Magnificus at Tilburg University, presented the first copy of the Liber Amicorum, titled Reflections on European Values: Honouring Loek Halmans’ Contribution to the European Values Study, to Loek. Tim Reeskens then briefly gave an overview of the content of this book. Last but not least, Loek gave a speech in which he reflected on his academic life, with not only memories to the decades he was committed to the EVS, but also how the EVS inspired his teaching activities.

The farewell to Loek Halman then continued with informal drinks followed by a dinner at Tilburg University’s Faculty Club. All his colleagues, several dressed in checked shirt (to many this was Loek’s dress code), were eager to share fond memories with Loek. It was a great and inspiring day!

Both the Liber Amicorum Reflections on European Values: Honouring Loek Halman, dedicated to Loek Halman, and the Atlas of European Values: Change and Continuity in Turbulent Times, Loek’s final publication, are published in an Open Access format by Open Press TiU. The books can be downloaded and/or ordered from the website www.evseries.eu. Pictures of the conference can be retrieved from this link.

European Values Conference 2022/05/10 – Keynote David Voas and Farewell to Loek Halman

European Values Series

The European Values Series, launched in May 2022, is a leading platform for the comparative study of values, norms, beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. It primarily publishes values research that seeks to uncover patterns and trends in important life domains, such as politics, religion and morale, family and gender, migration, work, welfare etc., and that adopts a comparative perspective on values such as cross-national comparisons, a longitudinal perspective, comparisons across social groups. The Series is grounded in work from the social sciences, although contributions from other disciplines such as philosophy and history are welcome as well. In this way, the Series hopes to contribute to the academic and public debate on European values. To facilitate this, the European Values Series is published open access by Open Press Tilburg University.

Book proposals can be sent to the editors for consideration. The use of EVS data is not mandatory, even if it is very welcomed.

The Series is edited by Inge Sieben (Tilburg University, the Netherlands) and Vera Lomazzi (University of Bergamo, Italy).

They are supported by the Editorial board: Morten Frederiksen (Aalborg Universitet, Denmark), Frédéric Gonthier (Sciences Po Grenoble, France), Michael Ochsner (FORS, University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Gergely Rosta (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary), Natalia Soboleva (Moscow, independent researcher)

Recent volumes include:

Halman, L., Reeskens, T., Sieben, I., & Zundert, M. van. (2022). Atlas of European Values. Open Press TiU. DOI: 10.26116/p8v-tt12

Luijkx, R., Reeskens, T., & Sieben, I. (2022). Reflections on European Values. Open Press TiU.

All books fo the European Values Series are available in open access. In the same webpage, a printed copy of the books can be ordered from the Print-on Demand portal at Open Press Tilburg University.

Books from the previous EVS series published with Brill is available from this page.

Frontiers in Political Science: CFP Special issue on Moral values

Edurne Bartolomé Peral (Chair of the Theory Group of EVS), Pascal Siegers, and Herman Duelmer are guest editors for the special issue of Frontiers in Political Science on the Research Topic: “Boundaries of Life: Attitudinal, Value and Political Implications on Euthanasia, Abortion, Reproduction and Medical Practices

Abstracts are due by January 28th, 2022. All info here.

Modernization, improvements in technology and medicine, together with the shift to value patterns that enhances self-determination and claims for further rights and equality are considerations that grow in importance in the modern world. The structural aging of our societies and the postponement of parenthood due to career and lifestyle have led to a rising relevance of the so-called beginning- and end-of-life issues. Issues such as medically assisted reproduction and dying, triage of life-threatened patients, abortion and suicide, raise moral and political questions that present specific characteristics and variations in the context of modernization, laws, policies and welfare systems. Medical progress has led to the development of technologies interfering in biological processes of procreation, expanding childbearing possibilities to individuals and social groups previously excluded from parenting. In relation to the end of life, growing demand for autonomous dying raises public awareness of practices of assisted dying and puts pressure on parliaments and governments to regulate medical practices.

The goals of this Research Topic are:

● To Introduce an adequate cross-national effort of mapping differences in morality attitudes and values and their determinants, and provide highly relevant policy knowledge for future decision making in European welfare states.

● To provide evidence on the nuances within the attitudes of the public in different cultural contexts related to these moral issues.

● To link survey research data, especially on attitudes and values with the welfare state provisions, policies and different legislations in world societies.

● To reflect on the relationship between profound cultural and value structures on private issues such as beginning- and end-of-life with the public political debate in societies.

●To add systematic comparative evidence at the individual and contextual level to the existing eclectic knowledge from diverse disciplines into one single topic (beginning and end of life).

Contributors to this Research Topic provide insight from diverse disciplines in the social sciences and from different fields within political science. Beginning and end of life issues open the way for contributions from political sociology, political theory, political philosophy, politics and sociology of religion, public policy and medical ethics. One of the goals of the special issue is to bridge the knowledge from these different fields and to integrate eclectic knowledge from diverse disciplines of political and social sciences into one single topic (beginning- and end-of-life). From the political theory and political philosophy perspective, authors contribute from the normative notion of naturalness and/or the concept of “good death”. Moreover, empirical sociologists and political scientists present data on the evolution of values, attitudes and public opinion on the beginning and end of life. Survey methodologists´ contributions provide insights on the problems and solutions on measurement. Contributions from public policy scholars focus on the macro and institutional perspectives in relation to morality policies, welfare provisions and cultural contexts in relation to beginning and end of life.

Keywords: Beginning end of life, Euthanasia, Abortion, Surrogacy, Medical Triage, Assisted reproduction techniques

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Modernization, improvements in technology and medicine

To contribute to the special issue, read the information provided by the journal here.

Job offer – Junior researcher

The Department of Sociology at Tilburg University is looking for an enthusiastic Junior researcher – project “European Values Study in the Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud Infrastructure” (0.8-1.0 fte for 10 months)

As a Junior Researcher, you will participate in research projects of the European Values Study (EVS). EVS (www.europeanvaluesstudy.eu) is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values, and opinions of citizens all over Europe. It is a unique research project on how Europeans think about life, family, work, religion, politics, and society; it started in 1981. The Social Sciences & Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC) is a EU-Horizon 2020 funded a program (www.sshopencloud.eu). 

In this context, the main focus will be on surveycodings.org: a facility to develop further the coding of variables that are crucial in surveys, e.g., educational level, occupation, religion, and other core demographic variables. EVS is cooperating here with other European surveys, and will extend the scope to global social surveys. Focus for the coming period will be to standardize and harmonize codings further and make them available within surveycodings.org. The Junior Researcher may also be involved in other activities of the EVS.


Job description 

  • The main tasks of the Junior researcher are the following:
  • Standardising and harmonizing codings and looking for translations in different languages;
  • Making these codings available to the research community by further developing the surveycodings.org website, writing blogs and other materials for survey research programs;
  • Assisting in developing a sustainable infrastructure for codings for the years to come;
  • Administrative / support tasks.
     
Requirements
  • You have (or will soon receive) a (research) master degree;
  • You have good knowledge of quantitative research methods and statistical programs like SPSS, Stata and/or R;
  • You are willing to learn, are open for feedback; 
  • You have good communication and teamwork skills;
  • You have a good command of English.

Employment conditions and information for applying are available here.

Specific information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Ruud Luijkx,  principal investigator and chair of the Executive Committee of EVS: r.luijkx@tilburguniversity.edu 

The closing date for applications is 6 April 2021. The interviews will take place in April 13, 2021. The anticipated starting date for the position is 1 May 2021.

Webinar: Value changes in pandemic times, 2020.11.27

Organized by the Romanian Group for Studying Social Values, this webinar brought together scholars from the community studying social values, and contributes to understanding the changes that Covid19 brings to the social fabric.

Four academic presentations, based on accepted papers in a special issue of European Societies, are proposed. A final discussion of common messages in the papers is delivered by Vera Lomazzi13

  • Tim Reeskens10, Quita Muis10, Inge Sieben10, Leen Vandecasteele11, Ruud Luijkx10 & Loek Halman10 Stability or change of public opinion and values during the coronavirus crisis? Exploring Dutch longitudinal panel data (Full paper here)
  • Malina Voicu1 & Delia Bădoi1, Fertility and the COVID-19 crisis: do gender roles really matter? (Full paper here)
  • Francesco Molteni12, Riccardo Ladini12, Ferruccio Biolcati Rinaldi12, Antonio M. Chiesi12, Giulia Maria Dotti Sani12, Simona Guglielmi12, Marco Maraffi12, Andrea Pedrazzani12, Paolo Segatti12 & Cristiano Vezzoni12. Searching for comfort in religion: insecurity and religious behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy (Full paper here)
  • Bogdan Voicu1,2, Edurne Bartolomé Peral3, Horațiu Rusu2,1, Gergely Rosta4,5, Mircea Comșa6, Octavian-Marian Vasile1,7, Lluís Coromina 8, Claudiu D. Tufis9. COVID-19 and orientations towards solidarity. The cases of Spain, Hungary, and Romania (Full paper available soon)

00:00:00 Start streaming 00:11:24 Start of the Webinar 00:14:30 Tim Reeskens 00:46:04 Delia Bădoi & Malina Voicu 01:17:16 Francesco Molteni 01:50:03 Bogdan Voicu 02:18:52 Vera Lomazzi

Webinar: Value changes in pandemic times

On Friday, 27th of November at 10 (CET), the Romanian Group for Studying Social Values organizes the webinar “Value changes in pandemic times“.

The webinar brings together scholars from the community studying social values, and contributes to understanding the changes that Covid19 brought to the social fabric.

Four academic presentations are proposed:

  • Tim Reeskens10, Quita Muis10, Inge Sieben10, Leen Vandecasteele11, Ruud Luijkx10 & Loek Halman10 Stability or change of public opinion and values during the coronavirus crisis? Exploring Dutch longitudinal panel data (Full paper here)
  • Malina Voicu1 & Delia Bădoi1, Fertility and the COVID-19 crisis: do gender roles really matter? (Full paper here)
  • Francesco Molteni12, Riccardo Ladini12, Ferruccio Biolcati Rinaldi12, Antonio M. Chiesi12, Giulia Maria Dotti Sani12, Simona Guglielmi12, Marco Maraffi12, Andrea Pedrazzani12, Paolo Segatti12 & Cristiano Vezzoni12. Searching for comfort in religion: insecurity and religious behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy (Full paper here)
  • Bogdan Voicu1,2, Edurne Bartolomé Peral3, Horațiu Rusu2,1, Gergely Rosta4,5, Mircea Comșa6, Octavian-Marian Vasile1,7, Lluís Coromina 8, Claudiu D. Tufis9. COVID-19 and orientations towards solidarity. The cases of Spain, Hungary, and Romania (Full paper available soon)

All presentations are based on accepted papers in a special issue of European Societies.

There are allotted 20 minutes for presentation, followed by 15 minutes for questions, comments, and answers. A final discussion of common messages in the papers will be delivered by Vera Lomazzi13.

Attending the webinar is free, but registration is necessary.

The event is supported by the Romanian Quantitative Studies Association and the Research Institute
for Quality of Life
 (Grant GAR-UM-2019-XI-5.3-9).

Affiliations of the authors:
1
Romanian Academy, Research Institute for Quality of Life; 2Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Department of Sociology; 3University of Deusto – Bilbao, Department of International Relations and Humanities; 4Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Institute of Sociology; 5University of Münster; 6Babeș-Bolyai University, Department of Sociology; 7 University of Bucharest, Department of Sociology; 8 University of Girona, Department of Economics; 9 University of Bucharest, Department of Political Science; 10 Tilburg University, Department of Sociology; 11 Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne; 12 University of Milan, Department of Social and Political Science;13 GESIS Leibniz-Institute for Social Sciences

How Italians change. Values and attitudes from the eighties to today

The joint EVS-WVS Italian team published the book “Come cambiano gli italiani, Valori e atteggiamenti dagli anni Ottanta a oggi” (How Italians change. Values and attitudes from the eighties to today).

How have Italians changed from the 1980s to today? How have Italians’ attitudes towards society, politics, work, family, religion, the European Union, science, the environment changed? Organized in fifteen short chapters dedicated to individual themes of great cultural, social and political relevance, the book presents the unpublished results of a major survey on the values of Europeans and Italians. Thanks to the comparison with similar data from previous research, the authors can conduct an in-depth analysis of the opinions and attitudes of Italians over the last forty years and measure the underlying trends of public opinion and our society over time.

Edited by Ferruccio Biolcati, Giancarlo Rovati and Paolo Segatti, the book includes chapters drafted by members of the Italian team and other Italian value scholars.

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