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How secularized is Germany? Cohort and comparative perspectives

[journal article]

Wolf, Christof

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Abstract "The author seeks to answer the question 'How secularized is Germany?' on the basis of different perspectives and databases. The meaning of the term secularization is limited for this study to the decline of religiosity and its consequences, and a distinction is made between church-related and individual religiosity. First, evidence for the decline of church-related religiosity in Germany is presented. Next, it is shown that individual religiosity, i.e. religiosity not necessarily related to organized religion, is also declining. Then the analysis is extended to investigate the relationship between religiosity and non-religious attitudes. Taking two illustrative examples, it is claimed that religion today is far less salient for the way we live and see the world than it has been in the past. Finally, the focus of the analysis is broadened to an international perspective in which Germany is compared with other countries. The author ends with some thoughts on the future of secularization in Germany." (author's abstract)
Keywords secularization; church; Christianity; religiousness; attitude; religious affiliation; church attendance; leaving the church; New Federal States; old federal states; Federal Republic of Germany; international comparison
Classification Sociology of Religion
Method empirical; quantitative empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 111-126
Journal Social Compass, 55 (2008) 2
ISSN 1461-7404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.