“Spirituality” and not only “Religion” is declining according to this study.
I’d like to introduce you to my favorite article on the future of Religion in Europe.
You can read a short summary below or just go here for the article: “The Rise and Fall of Fuzzy Fidelity in Europe”
A Short Summary
David Voas is an eminent quantitative social scientist with a background in demography.
He is currently leading an investigation of religious and secular morality in Europe.
In this article he challenges the popular assumption that as religion declines a liberal theology or “spirituality” is flourishing.
The Main Argument
As we all know, traditional religious groups are in decline – no one argues this.
However, what Voas does argue is that the dramatic rise of “fuzzy fidelity” (or liberal, non-traditional spiritual groups) at the beginning of the twentieth centure is NOT a new form of religion destined to grow but is itself a transitional stage on the path to more fully secular culture.
In other words, liberal or non-traditional spiritual groups have not been successful at handing on their orientation to a new generation.
There has been a deep and possibly abiding disconnection. In fact liberal believers have been just as bad at handing on their faith as traditional religious groups, though perhaps for different reasons.
It is a startling study, in part, because it challenges the popular assumption, “if people don’t value religion they at least value spirituality.”
In terms of organizations which represent both groups – they are both drying up according to Voas.