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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.

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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.

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Chart Visit religious services, Source: Atlas of European Values

 

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Chart Believing, Source: Atlas of European Values

“Christians and Muslims make little difference”

An article on Religion ORF.at gives evidence to some of the results discussed during the event presenting the book “Quo vadis, Österreich? Werwandel zwischen 1990 und 2018” on July 18, 2019. In particular, the fact that religious lines of conflict between the “strong Muslim block and the weakening Christian block” cannot be empirically proven in Austria in this way.

According to the value researcher Regina Polak EVS results in Austria would reveal cross-denominational differences between men and women, young and old, as well as urban and rural residents. When moderator Susanne Mauthner-Weber (“Kurier”) asked whether religion is a unifying or separating factor in society, Polak replied: “Both. Religions are inhomogeneous in themselves.”

The full article (in orginal language) is available here.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

Presentation of EVS results in the Netherlands

Results of the Dutch European Values Study were presented at the Annual Symposium of the Dutch journal ‘Religie en Samenleving‘ (Religion and Society) at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Inge Sieben talked about trends between 1981 and 2017, and Tim Reeskens about value polarization between educational groups.

In addition, there were workshops on the educational projects of EVS www.atlasofeuropeanvalues.eu (Gijs van Gaans, Fontys) and juniorkennisbank.nl (Inge Sieben).

David Voas: “The power of nones: Why secularization matters”

Professor David Voas is Head of Department of Social Science at University College London, and member of the Executive Committee of the European Values Study . He will give a speech entlitled “The power of nones: Why secularization matters

Abstract:

In her Presidential Address at the 2018 conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Korie Edwards urged social scientists to study the way that religion affects the distribution and use of power.  In doing so, she criticized the amount of attention given to secularization.  She advises scholars to avoid “framing our work in ways that could be construed to suggest that religion is losing power.  This is simply not true.”

Using data from various sources, I will make four points in response:

1) Whether, why and to what extent religion is losing power is an empirical question.  The evidence strongly suggests that in nearly all highly developed societies, religion is less central in personal and social life now than in the past. 

2) The common claim that “the presuppositions that informed secularization theory have been effectively refuted” is odd, in view of the evident association between modernization and religious decline.

3) Scholars who are interested in the power of religious ideas, institutions and leaders should be attentive to studies of secularization; “The decline in power, popularity, and prestige of religion across the modern world is not a short-term or localized trend nor is it an accident” (Bruce 2011).

4) The undoubted power of religion can be deployed for good or ill, and there is a widespread belief that religion has done more harm than good.  People are increasingly choosing to live without religion partly because they reject the exercise of its power over their own affairs.

International Workshop 2019

In collaboration with GORBI (Georgian Opinion Research Business International), the European Values Study organizes the first international workshop of EVS2017 “Comparing values in (post)crisis Europe“.

In the recent years, Europe was exposed to remarkable dynamics of simultaneously growing together and falling apart. The workshop aims at dealing with two main questions: How do all these changes affect the Europeans’ values? And how can researchers measure and compare human values in an adequate and meaningful way?

A Call for Abstract has been launched on May 8th welcoming contributions on European values and attitudes with a focus on multilevel and longitudinal research questions on topics such as (but not limited to) social solidarity, social cohesion, national and European identity, we are interested also in papers investigating validity and cross-cultural comparability of values and attitudes.

Alongside selected proposals, the program is enriched by keynote contributions and special panels:

In a special panel on Religion and pro-choice values, Professor David Voas (Head of Department of Social Science at University College London, and member of the Executive Committee of the European Values Study) gives a keynote speech entitled :”The power of nones: Why secularization matters

The special panel on Measurement equivalence and validity in cross-cultural research gives the opportunity to discuss such matters with Professor Christian Welzel (Chair in Political Culture Research, Center for the Study of Democracy at Leuphana University, and Vice-President of World Values Survey Association), who proposes his speech on “Measurement Equivalence? A Tale of False Obsessions and a Cure, and Professor Bart Meuleman (Coordinator of the Centre for Sociological Research at KU Leuven, and President of the European Survey Research Association), who gives a contribution entitled: “Measurement equivalence: Between Statistical Dogmatism and Anything Goes“.

 

 

The Local Organizing Committee at GORBI, Tbilisi, Georgia

Lucy Flynn, Rian Hulscher , Merab Pachulia

The Scientific Committee of the Workshop

Morten Frederiksen (Aalborg Universitet, Copenhagen, Denmark); Vera Lomazzi (GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany); Gergely Rosta (Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary); Natalia Soboleva (Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, NRU Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

EVS 2017, Results in Denmark. Book published

Morten Frederiksen (National Program Director of EVS Denmark) edited the book “Usikker modernitet – Danskernes værdier fra 1981 til 2017” (Uncertainty Modernity) published by Hans Reitzels Vorlag. The book, based on the results of EVS in Denmark, examines the development of the Danes’ values ​​over four decades and captures the historical changes that have taken place since 1981.

“Usikker Modernitet” examines everything from the Danes’ national pride, concern for immigration, political participation, political values, attitudes to surveillance and environmental protection, voluntary work, religion, citizenship, gender equality, upbringing and experience of unhappiness, and analyzes developments and setbacks in a sociological perspective.

Denmark is often referred to as a society characterized by happiness, trust and tolerance, where neither religion nor social class really divides the population and where equality, environmental awareness and non-authoritarian education are values ​​that bring together most.

However, that image cannot be taken for granted, as many of these values ​​are relatively new, and some of them even exist only in a smaller part of the population. In 2017, many Danes were less happy and less confident than they were just a decade earlier.

The Danes have lost confidence in other people, trust in the political system and they have become less happy” – M. Frederiksen

(This text is a translated and adapted version of the original description provided by the editor)

Values ​​in Croatia from 1999 to 2018

Josip Baloban, Gordan Črpić and Josip Ježovita of the Croatian Team of EVS published the book “Vrednote u Hrvatskoj od 1999. do 2018. Prema European Values Study” (Values ​​in Croatia from 1999 to 2018 according to the European Values ​​Study).

Since 1981, Europe has been conducting an international survey of value systems and reception and application of value orientations called European Values ​​Study (EVS) every ten years. Croatia participated in this international project with the third wave of research conducted in 1999 through the Catholic Faculty of Theology at the University of Zagreb, which as a donor project interdisciplinarily brought together scientists from different faculties of the University and scientific research institutes. The results of recent research, as well as the comments of the same, have been published by Croatian researchers in the last twenty years in books and magazines in Croatian and in foreign languages. This book presents some results of the fifth wave of research in Croatia (2017/2018), in comparison with the third (1999) and the fourth wave (2008), so that the movement of some values ​​in the last two decades in Croatia. The values ​​that have been explored include family, business, religion, politics and leisure, then solidarity, fairness, social sensitivity as well as trust in people and different institutions, morals and ethics, and others.


Documentation – Survey 2017

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