Sociologist Grace Davie has famously described churches in Europe as “public utilities,” state-supported institutions that people assume will be there for them when the occasion demands — weddings and funerals, for example. She contrasts this with the American idea of churches as “firms,” that is, private associations that members support through voluntary contributions. From La Stampa this week, a fascinating piece addressing attempts by the Catholic Church in Europe to move to the American model, so far without success. State budgetary shortfalls and church scandals have made public funding much less certain, and the Church is encouraging European Catholics to see themselves as “stewards” who must support their local parishes financially. The long tradition of state funding makes Europeans reluctant to accept this new responsibility, however.
- Miller, “Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church”
- Sirry, “Scriptural Polemics: The Qur’an and Other Religions”
- The Return of the Dhimma?
- Happy 450th Birthday to William Shakespeare
- Why Protect Religion?
- Sandberg, “Religion, Law and Society”
- Janes & Houen (eds.), “Martyrdom and Terrorism: Pre-Modern to Contemporary Perspectives”
- The Weekly Five
- Aronoff, “The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers”
- Quero & Shoji, “Transnational Faiths”