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.
- What’s Happening in Argentina?
- Holt v. Hobbs Podcast
- Around the Web This Week
- Commins, “Islam in Saudi Arabia”
- Sciorra, “Built with Faith: Italian American Imagination and Catholic Material Culture in New York City”
- “The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding” (Omer et al., eds.)
- Rajan, “Al Qaeda’s Global Crisis”
- When Doesn’t a Religious Accommodation “Detrimentally Affect Others”? And a Few Other Holt v. Hobbs Thoughts
- Houlihan, “Catholicism and the Great War: Religion and Everyday Life in Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914–1922″
- Steenbrink, “Catholics in Independent Indonesia:1945-2010″