Revisiting Secularization in Light of Growing Diversity: The European CaseGrace Davie
- Religious studies
This article brings together two rather different trends in the religious life of twenty-first century Europe. On the one hand, secularization continues—faster in some places than others and with varying implications for the society in question. On the other, Europe—and especially western Europe—is becoming increasingly diverse, an equally inexorable development brought about by immigration. Is it possible to reconcile the two, keeping in mind that secularization erodes religious literacy, thus impeding constructive conversation about religion in public life, whereas the management of religious diversity demands this capacity on an almost daily basis? All too often the result is an ill-informed and ill-mannered debate. Can anything be done? Is it possible, in other words, to encourage a better conversation about religion in this part of the world? Understanding the religious dimensions of the current conflict in Ukraine raises similar—but distinctive—issues; they are central to the underlying discussion.