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.
- Why Did ISIS Destroy the Tomb of Jonah?
- “Religious Minorities and Cultural Diversity in the Dutch Republic” (den Hollander et al., eds.)
- Conference: Non-Public School Graduates in Civil Society: Release of Data (September 10)
- Around the Web This Week
- “Family, Religion and Law” (Shah, Foblets & Rohe, eds.)
- Nedilsky, “Converts to Civil Society”
- America’s Duty to Iraq’s Christians
- Is More Less? Or is More More?
- Rose, “Jewish Philosophical Politics in Germany, 1789-1848″
- “Hinduism” (Sweetman, ed.)