The Future of Religion In Europe

“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.

-Greg Barker