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Religion and European Integration Ni Evgueniia (I31031)

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Presentation on theme: "Religion and European Integration Ni Evgueniia (I31031)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion and European Integration Ni Evgueniia (I31031)

2 What is Religion? "Religion: A general term used... to designate all concepts concerning the belief in god(s) and goddess(es) as well as other spiritual beings or transcendental ultimate concerns." ~ Penguin Dictionary of Religions (1997). "Religion: Relation of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural." ~ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia (online, 2006) "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opiate of the people." ~ Karl Marx "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

3 Historical background  The Schism Between Western and Eastern Christianity  Division in 1054 A.D. of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches  Greek missionaries refused to accept Roman Catholic hierarchy and rule by Roman bishops  Roman Catholics - Latin alphabet; Eastern Orthodox - Cyrillic  Conflicts with Islam  East Europe: Ottoman Turks brought Islam to Balkans (almost to Vienna, Austria)  Western Europe: Moors (Moroccans) brought Islam to Spain  Began in 16 th century with split in Catholic Church’s teachings  A Geography of Judaism  Jews expelled from Palestine during Roman Empire, settled in Moorish (Islamic) Spain  When Christians conquered this region, they expelled Jews  Many Jews settled in “the Pale” of eastern Europe (east Poland and further east)  Murder of 6 million Jews during Nazi occupation in 1940s, others suffered in concentration camps

4 Religion and Its Role Religion exerts a profound influence on all societies and many of the world's peoples. Throughout history, it has proven to be the primary force for social progress, motivating individuals to develop spiritual qualities, and empowering them to sacrifice for their fellow human- beings and to contribute to the betterment of their communities. Charles Taylor`s view The religion is an important component of many political identities:  As a national identity : e.g. Catholicism for Poles, Irish and (earlier generation of French Canadian); Protestantism for 17 th and 18 th century Britons and Bismarckian Germany; Orthodoxy in the case of Contemporary Greece, and etc.  As a source of political conflict  European values (Human rights conflict)  Multiculturalism

5 The Current Situation Secularization – is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious (or irreligious) values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life and governance. Jose Casanova`s Post-secular Europe: Unchurching of European population & religion individualization “believing without belonging” Grace Davie Religion became complicated issue in European constitution:  The Role of Catholic Poland (re-joining Europe)  Incorporation of Turkey (Secular Christian Europe VS Muslim Turkey)  Integration of non-European immigrants (Tolerance policy)  The Christian heritage in the text of new European constitution (is there a need of new “civil religion” based on Enlightenment principle?)

6 Secularization – unique feature of European society Daniele Hervieu-Leger Europe, is the only cultural area where the paradigm of secularization was genuinely applicable, but in ways that varied from country to country.  The process of secularization is extremely advanced throughout the continent.  A model, prefiguring the general development of advanced society.  Lower level of religious observance  Belief in personal God belief in a “power” and “supernatural force” The Europeans are moving away from model of “practicing” believer (religious identity from the community from the childhood) to the trend towards religious individualization. Two models: 1. Pilgrim (follows an individual spiritual path involving a series of phases) 2. Convert (chooses the religious family to which he belongs) Religion has not disappeared in Europe: it continues to exist as a personal option and a means of individual identification, but it informs collective identity less and less, and no longer provides the frame work for ethical standards in the life of its citizens.

7 European cultural matrix Cultural foundation unified & diverse Tension between the process of homogenization of the European religious scene under the influence of secularization and the possibility contradictory stimulation of the various religious cultures which exist in the same European area. Europe`s cultural and religious pluralization – immigration (Islamic) & Cultural globalization (reaction to defend cultural uniqueness). Which contribute both to the erosion and partial reconstitution of various religious civilizations which exist in Europe.

8 Religions in Europe The Eurobarometer Poll 2010 found that, on average, 51% of the citizens of EU member states state that they "believe in God", 26% "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" while 20% "do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". 3% declined to answer.

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