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Social and cultural determinants of the vitality of religion in Brazil

  • Franz Höllinger
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Abstract

In contrast to Europe, where religious beliefs and practices have strongly declined in the course of the 20th century, religion continues to play a central role in private and in public life in large parts of the world. This applies both to developing and to advanced industrial societies. We observe the continuity of traditional forms of religion, highly emotional and fervent religious revivals, the emergence of religious fundamentalism, and the expansion of new religious cults and churches (Martin 1990, Marty/Appleby 1992, Beyer 1998, Berger 1999). When examining these developments, sociologists of religion were led to challenge the classical thesis of secularisation. Some have argued that the European way of secularisation might rather be an exception, and not the rule or a model which other societies would follow in the course of their socio-economic development (Martin 1994, Berger 1999). During the last decades new theses were proposed to explain the development of religion in our contemporary world more adequately.

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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

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  • Franz Höllinger

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