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Author: Steffen Dix

Abstract

The religious history of Portugal is usually told as the history of a monolithic Catholic belief-system that excludes other religious options. Contrasting this tendency, there is also a political—anticlerical—construction that regards the Catholic tradition as the origin of economic, intellectual, or even ethical backwardness. Taken together, these presuppositions make it difficult to provide an impartial description of the religious situation in Portugal, both contemporary and historical. The present article intends to challenge those theological and political agendas and to replace their historical narratives with a more pluralistic picture of religion in Portugal.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author: Steffen Dix

Abstract

In recent years the study of local religious histories, especially in Europe, has gained in prominence. Because of the encounters between different cultural traditions in the Middle Ages and the voyages of discovery, the religious history of the Iberian Peninsula became one of the most complex in Europe. This article focuses on one portion of this history around the turn of the 19th/20th century, and in particular on two attempts to blame the Catholic religion for the general crisis in Spain and Portugal at the start of the modern era. These two forms of critiquing religion are illustrated by the examples of Miguel de Unamuno and Antero de Quental, whose writings were characteristic of the typical relationship between religion and intellectuals in this period. Not only were the Spanish philosopher and the Portuguese poet influential on their own and later generations, but they are also truly representative of a certain tragic ”loss“ of religion in the Iberian Peninsula.

In: Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

Abstract

By analysing the result of a survey conducted in 2018 in the most populated metropolis in Portugal, this study seeks to make a sociological characterisation of ‘believers without religion’ from a dual perspective: on one hand, their proximity to the non-believers groups regarding religious practices; on the other hand, their adjacency to Portuguese cultural Catholicism with respect to beliefs and attitudes. The growth of this population expresses a paradox: their identity accounts for the subsistence of fragments of a late traditional religiosity, but also points to the emergence of new forms of individual beliefs, strongly marked by the effects of the ‘subjective turn.’ In this context, the lack of institutional regulation does not convey an undetermined universe of believers. Paradoxically, references to cultural Catholicism endure; however, they do so hand in hand with forms of religious abandonment, giving rise to various paths that lead to a growing estrangement from Catholicism.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe

Abstract

By analysing the result of a survey conducted in 2018 in the most populated metropolis in Portugal, this study seeks to make a sociological characterisation of ‘believers without religion’ from a dual perspective: on one hand, their proximity to the non-believers groups regarding religious practices; on the other hand, their adjacency to Portuguese cultural Catholicism with respect to beliefs and attitudes. The growth of this population expresses a paradox: their identity accounts for the subsistence of fragments of a late traditional religiosity, but also points to the emergence of new forms of individual beliefs, strongly marked by the effects of the ‘subjective turn.’ In this context, the lack of institutional regulation does not convey an undetermined universe of believers. Paradoxically, references to cultural Catholicism endure; however, they do so hand in hand with forms of religious abandonment, giving rise to various paths that lead to a growing estrangement from Catholicism.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe