Social Capital and Religion in the Public Sphere: Attitudes to Visible Forms of Religion Among Norwegian High-School Students

Part of the Religion and Human Rights book series (REHU, volume 2)


Religion has become a contested issue in Norwegian society. Some of the ongoing debates are highly relevant to the rights and freedoms of young people, such as the debate on the use of religious symbols as part of one’s attire, and the use of prayer rooms in public schools. This paper will reflect on attitudes to public forms of religion according to social capital theory. Social trust is an essential component of social capital. Trust generated in face-to-face settings develops into a more generalised social trust that has profound effects on complex modern societies. This contribution analyses the explanatory power of social-capital indicators on attitudes to religion in the public sphere. The paper will also discuss additional explanatory factors, such as gender, political views, religiosity and the education level of the parents of young people.


Social capital Religion Public sphere Freedom of religion Education Religious symbols Trust Networks 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KIFO Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview ResearchOsloNorway

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