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Religious Change over the Generations in an Extremely Secular Society: The Case of Sweden
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. (Statsvetenskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0404-9496
2017 (English)In: Review of religious research, ISSN 0034-673X, E-ISSN 2211-4866, Vol. 59, no 4, p. 499-518Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main argument of this paper is that religious change caused by modifying supply in the religious market takes time due to intergenerational value change. Unlike previous research, this study suggests that not only do religious agents on the supply side need time to adjust, but that the time lag is probably even greater among individuals on the demand side of the religious market. Using time series data, the study demonstrates that, despite shrinking church attendance, interest in religious concepts such as “salvation” has increased in the generations born after 1970 in Sweden. Describing the transformation of the Swedish religious market from a regulated religious monopoly before 1970 to an increasingly deregulated and competitive religious supply since 1970, the study explains this revival in religious interest on the part of generations whose formative years were after 1970. As these generations replace previous generation with less religious interest, religious interest is rising in the Swedish population. The conclusion holds even when controlling for period and life-cycle effects, as well as alternative explanations of religious change such as increased migration and the existential security thesis. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 59, no 4, p. 499-518
Keywords [en]
Generation, Religious change, Secularization, Religious market, Salvation, Existential security
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69138DOI: 10.1007/s13644-017-0294-5ISI: 000417073500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-69138DiVA, id: diva2:1164067
Available from: 2017-12-08 Created: 2017-12-08 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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