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Varieties Of Religious Weakness And Strength

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first examines religious weakness in the West, more especially in Europe, to demonstrate that this is not a superficial, short-lived phenomenon but the outcome of a far-reaching process stretching over several centuries. The problem created by the strength of Islam and its influence on Western society, specifically from the perspective of cultural and religious integration. These two developments make religion in the West a complex and variegated phenomenon. The chapter proposes some strategies that can be used to direct research into the variations of religious weakness and strength. It presents three paradigms: one for researching religious variations between and within countries, one to study religious variations within countries and intergroup variations, and one for examining variations between individual group members. The first strategy labels the secularisation paradigm, the second the economic paradigm, and the third the cognitive paradigm.

Keywords: cognitive paradigm; economic paradigm; Europe; religious strength; secularisation paradigm



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