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Religion and ModernityAn International Comparison$
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Detlef Pollack and Gergely Rosta

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801665

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801665.001.0001

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(p.65) Introduction
Religion and Modernity

Detlef Pollack

Gergely Rosta

Oxford University Press

In recantation of his earlier approach, Peter L. Berger now claims: ‘The world today, with some exceptions […], is as furiously religious as it ever was, and in some places more so than ever.’ The most important exception that Berger refers to is Western Europe. The introduction to Part II provides an overview of the religious landscape in Western Europe. The data show that the current religious situation in the countries of Western Europe is in fact subject to considerable variation. It would therefore be erroneous to describe Western Europe as secularized. At the same time, the data reveal that there have been clear secularization tendencies over the last few decades. To grasp the diversity of religious tendencies, Part II deals with three cases: West Germany with moderate downward tendencies, Italy with a considerably high degree of stability, and the Netherlands displaying disproportionately strong secularizing tendencies.

Keywords:   denominational affiliation, church attendance, confidence in the church, belief in God, importance of religion, magic, esotericism, spirituality, belief in reincarnation

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