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Religion in secularizing society

The European's religion at the end of the 20th century

The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human values, initiated by the European Value Systems Study Group (EVSSG) in the late 1970s, at that time an informal grouping of academics. Now, it is carried on in the setting of a foundation, using the (abbreviated) name of the group European Values Study (EVS).
The EVSSG aimed at designing and conducting a major empirical study of the moral and social values underlying European social and political institutions and governing conduct.

A rich academic literature has now been created around the original survey, and numerous other works have made use of the findings.
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Religion in Secularizing Society

The Europeans’ Religion at the End of the 20th Century

The cross-national analyses of Europe’s patterns of religious and moral orientations presented in this book are all based on the 1990 European Values Study survey data and some use both 1981 and 1990 data. Use is also made of more recent data gathered in 1995/1997 within the framework of the World Values Study, directed by Ron Inglehart, as well as data from a recent pilot survey in Japan. The contributions in this book are not written within a common theoretical framework, but from different theoretical perspectives and scientific backgrounds and interests. However, a majority of the chapters focus on the Catholic and Protestant divide in Europe. All in all, the contributions in this book show (parts) of the religious and moral culture in contemporary secularizing societies.
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Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion

Volume 3: New Methods in the Sociology of Religion


This volume points to methodological innovations in social research and their potential for social scientific studies of religion. Computerization has opened for both quantitative and qualitative systematic analyses of complex materials, and the epistemological discourse after Positivism has opened for reconsidering the foundation of empirical social research. Furthermore religion is changing, and sociology of religion therefore widens its scope by including non-institutional forms of religion. This refocusing calls for new methodological considerations. As the range of available methods expands, it becomes more pressing to consider whether and how methods can be combined, such as quantitative and qualitative methods. Studying religion as a complex social phenomenon calls for a variety of methods, but an integration of the empirical findings points back to the epistemological issue.