Religious change in Europe continues to be a controversial topic. The main disputes regard if and how Europe is experiencing processes of secularization and how these processes can be explained. On the one hand, there are basically three different theories which strongly compete. Secularization theorists declare that religiosity in Europe is declining in all its dimensions. Individualization theorists declare that religion is changing instead from institutionalized forms to more individualized and intimate ones. Finally, adherents of the economic market approach prompt that religiosity is all about the ability of the churches to stimulate and attract believers. On the other hand, the link between modernization and secularization is often presented as the causal mechanism underneath religious change. Among this literature, Norris and Inglehart’s insecurity theory poses that processes of modernization and human development have increased the human security thus reducing the need for religion. This theory is based on the idea that religion can work as reassurance for conditions of insecurity or for life-threatening events. The present work tests this claim. After giving a comprehensive overview of the three main theoretical approaches to religious change (chapter 2), of the use of religion as coping strategy (chapter 3) and of the main methodological issues that need to be faced (chapter 4), I describe European religiosity and analyze possible processes of religious change. To do so, I focus on different dimensions of religiosity and I consider cohort replacement as the main mechanism to assess this change (chapter 5). It emerges that Practice is declining in all European countries, but religious self-definition and especially belief show a U-shaped trend for Orthodox countries. Given this peculiarity, I devote an entire chapter (chapter 6) to its exploration. After doing that, I explicitly deal with insecurity theory. To do so, I propose a multiple response multilevel model (EVS data) on European Christian countries (chapter 7) which tackles the association between individual as well as contextual insecurity and individual religiosity. Results show that personal religiosity is weakly associated only with widowhood at the individual level but more strongly associated with economic inequalities and welfare spending at the country level. Chapter 8 goes deeper in the investigation of the relation between individual insecurity and religiosity. By mean of two fixed-effect panel models for Germany (SOEP data) and UK (BHPS + Understanding society data) I am able to explicitly test the hypothesis that a worsening of individual condition can foster an increase of religiosity. Results clearly show that such hypothesis applies only and little for widowhood. Hence, the case of Europe suggests that individual insecurity alone does not suit for a comprehensive sociological theory of religious change. It should be better integrated with other theories, e.g. the increase of education and the failure of religious transmission, to “place” countries on a hypothetical path to modernization.

IN NEED OF RELIGION,INSECURITY AND RELIGIOSITY IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPE / F.b. Molteni ; supervisor: M. Maraffi ; co-supervisor: F. Biolcati Rinaldi ; phd director: M. Cardano. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2017 Jul 06. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/molteni-francesco_phd2017-07-06].

IN NEED OF RELIGION,INSECURITY AND RELIGIOSITY IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPE

F.B. Molteni
2017

Abstract

Religious change in Europe continues to be a controversial topic. The main disputes regard if and how Europe is experiencing processes of secularization and how these processes can be explained. On the one hand, there are basically three different theories which strongly compete. Secularization theorists declare that religiosity in Europe is declining in all its dimensions. Individualization theorists declare that religion is changing instead from institutionalized forms to more individualized and intimate ones. Finally, adherents of the economic market approach prompt that religiosity is all about the ability of the churches to stimulate and attract believers. On the other hand, the link between modernization and secularization is often presented as the causal mechanism underneath religious change. Among this literature, Norris and Inglehart’s insecurity theory poses that processes of modernization and human development have increased the human security thus reducing the need for religion. This theory is based on the idea that religion can work as reassurance for conditions of insecurity or for life-threatening events. The present work tests this claim. After giving a comprehensive overview of the three main theoretical approaches to religious change (chapter 2), of the use of religion as coping strategy (chapter 3) and of the main methodological issues that need to be faced (chapter 4), I describe European religiosity and analyze possible processes of religious change. To do so, I focus on different dimensions of religiosity and I consider cohort replacement as the main mechanism to assess this change (chapter 5). It emerges that Practice is declining in all European countries, but religious self-definition and especially belief show a U-shaped trend for Orthodox countries. Given this peculiarity, I devote an entire chapter (chapter 6) to its exploration. After doing that, I explicitly deal with insecurity theory. To do so, I propose a multiple response multilevel model (EVS data) on European Christian countries (chapter 7) which tackles the association between individual as well as contextual insecurity and individual religiosity. Results show that personal religiosity is weakly associated only with widowhood at the individual level but more strongly associated with economic inequalities and welfare spending at the country level. Chapter 8 goes deeper in the investigation of the relation between individual insecurity and religiosity. By mean of two fixed-effect panel models for Germany (SOEP data) and UK (BHPS + Understanding society data) I am able to explicitly test the hypothesis that a worsening of individual condition can foster an increase of religiosity. Results clearly show that such hypothesis applies only and little for widowhood. Hence, the case of Europe suggests that individual insecurity alone does not suit for a comprehensive sociological theory of religious change. It should be better integrated with other theories, e.g. the increase of education and the failure of religious transmission, to “place” countries on a hypothetical path to modernization.
MARAFFI, MARCO
MARAFFI, MARCO
BIOLCATI RINALDI, FERRUCCIO
Cardano, Mario
Religion; religiosity; Europe; insecurity; secularization; multilevel
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
IN NEED OF RELIGION,INSECURITY AND RELIGIOSITY IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPE / F.b. Molteni ; supervisor: M. Maraffi ; co-supervisor: F. Biolcati Rinaldi ; phd director: M. Cardano. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2017 Jul 06. ((29. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2016. [10.13130/molteni-francesco_phd2017-07-06].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/505212
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