Belief and Unbelief: Two Sides of a Coin
Public lecture organized by research group Religious Dynamics and Cultural Diversity
Tuesday 29 January, 17.00-18.30, Vondelzaal (University Library, Singel 425)
This lecture addresses the nature of religion (including religious belief) in modern Europe and the factors that must be taken into account in order to properly understand it. Important factors in this regard are (1) the cultural heritage of Europe; (2) the “old” model of a moderately dominant state church which operates like a public utility; (3) a “newer” model which takes the form of a growing market in religion; (4) the arrival into Europe of new groups of people both Christian and other; (5) an increasingly articulate secular lobby; and (6) a growing awareness that Europe is an “exceptional case”. The first point that will be emphasized is that all five factors exist alongside each other and that they push and pull in different directions. The second point provides the main focus for this lecture: namely that exactly the same factors that account for the nature of religious belief in European society are equally present in unbelief.
GRACE DAVIE is professor emeritus in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter UK. She is the author of Religion in Britain since 1945 (Blackwell 1994), Religion in Modern Europe (OUP 2000), Europe: the Exceptional Case (DLT 2002) and The Sociology of Religion (Sage 2007/2013); she is the co-author of Religious America, Secular Europe (Ashgate 2008), and co-editor of Predicting Religion (Ashgate 2003) and Welfare and Religion in 21 Century Europe (2 vols) (Ashgate 2010 and 2011).
The lecture is public and entrance is free.