Samstag, 11. Januar 2014

Secularization and Desecularization in Our Time

Gerhard Meisenberg; 2011
Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies


Using data from the World Values Survey covering the period from 1981 to 2008, this study examines trends in the strength of religious belief worldwide. At the country level, the most important predictors of current religiosity are high intelligence and a history of communist rule, both of which reduce religious belief. However, religiosity has been rising vigorously in the communist and ex-communist countries during the surveyed period although religion is declining in most countries of non-communist Europe and East Asia. In addition to a history of communist rule, other factors associated with rising religiosity include high religiosity of young people relative to older people, high female relative to male religiosity, and a positive relationship between religiosity and fertility. In addition, religion tends to grow in countries in which less educated people are far more religious than those with higher education. Aside from the rebound of religion in the (ex)communist countries, the religiosity gap between the most advanced and the most backward nations has widened worldwide. The implications of these findings for the future of religion are discussed.


Sex differences in religiosity:

"In countries with high average religiosity, both men and women are highly religious and the gender difference is small. Gender differences are larger in low-religiosity countries, and are largest in advanced nations with Christian tradition. Gender differences are smallest in the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East. This region has high average religiosity, and it is quite possible that Islam is intrinsically more attractive for men whereas Christianity is more attractive for women. The appendix shows that Mali and Saudi Arabia are the only countries in the World Values Survey in which men are (marginally) more religious than women."

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