Kirkko ja kansalaisyhteiskunta Euroopan unionin ko

  • Conversion, Unified Project Model (PI)



This research project studies the role of the church in civil society in the EU context with a special focus on Finland. That religion continues to exist under the veneer of European secularization creating multiple networks of civil society, forms the point of departure. The project builds on an earlier project, whose results reveal that the relationship between churches and civil society is far more complex than what has been envisaged. The position and actions of the church in Finland cannot any more be studied only within the context of state-church polarization, since they are located now rather on a continuum public-third sector and where the roles of the church may vary considerably. Secularisation theory is not able alone to provide tools to explain religion in today’s society. There is a need to develop novel critical and innovative theoretical approaches.

Our research will study how the novel roles of the Lutheran Church within the public-third sector continuum influence its position in the Finnish society, and how the church promotes social inclusion and solidarity. In doing this we will examine diaconal economic help in the Lutheran Church and its relation to the public welfare system in Finland, collaboration between municipalities and local Lutheran parishes, the role of the Finnish Lutheran Church in European Social Fund projects, how local Lutheran parishes promote communality and generational agreements in Finland, and the meaning of religion in solidarity and altruism. This study will provide new information about the church as a third sector agent in building up civil society. Results will increase awareness and information for the formulation or implementation of European civil society initiatives, and development of policy both at national and European level.
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/07/200731/12/2010


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