Church in Today's European Society

Projekt: Forskningsprojekt


Beskrivning (abstrakt)

Project aims to study how the Church is positioned and how it positions itself in todays European society. We look first at Finland and then compare the Finnish results with other selected countries. The strength of the Christian tradition in local and national culture has become clearer in recent religious disputes like that on crucifixes. Notwithstanding the obvious indications of secularization, religion has become public in various ways. Churches have begun to resume responsibilities previously shed (e.g. welfare services); they have started actively to monitor EU affairs and to influence decision making processes both at the national and EU-level, and to safeguard their operational preconditions. In this study we will focus on the interactions of the Church in the secular local, national and EU context and how citizens view the different roles of the Church at these three levels. Since all these levels interact with each other, it is important that studying them is combined in a joint research programme. Our approach is interdisciplinary and comparative. We utilize in our analysis theological, sociology of religion and political science viewpoints. The project consists of five studies. Data is gathered with questionnaires in three surveys, through archive research and interviews both in Finland and selected European countries and consists of statistical data, interviews and various kinds of documents. Our goal is to produce new knowledge on the theoretical approach to the study of public religion and the changing nature of interactions between religious and secular institutions. Our results are strongly applicable both to churches and secular actors in various levels in European societies. They benefit the understanding of the changing role and position of religion in contemporary European societies. They can be utilized to develop models for interaction in multicultural European societies, thus contributing towards social integration and cohesion, and to serve decision making processes both at the national and European levels.
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/01/201131/10/2015


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