Analysis of the Categories Religiosity and Secularity from a Quantitative Perspective

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Norbert FUCHSLEHNER, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Austria
In general, the religious-secular dichotomy has been discussed by many scholars for a long time.

This paper aims to take a look at the categories religiosity and secularity from a quantitative perspective. For analysing the categories the Believing-Belonging-Matrix (Reitsma et al, 2014) and the data from the EVS 2008 will be used. Above all, the Believing-Belonging-Matrix combines two important aspects in the context of sociology of religion. It includes religious self-identification (believing) as well as church attendance (belonging). On the one hand, the matrix measures the categories consistent religiosity (believing and belonging) and secularity (neither believing nor belonging). On the other hand, it is possible to identify other categories that are not completely covered by the religious-secular dichotomy in a strict and consistent sense. Additionally, the matrix provides the categories habitual attendance (belonging without believing) and individual religiosity (believing without belonging).

First, the paper asks to what extent the four types of the Believing-Belonging-Matrix can be found in European countries? Second, the paper tries to illustrate which factors have an impact on the types of the matrix with the help of regression models.

Finally, the paper shows that from a quantitative perspective religiosity and secularity are still highly relevant categories in Europe. However, the differences between countries are remarkable. Nevertheless, the findings strongly support the view that believing and belonging as well as neither believing nor belonging are more common types than habitual attendance and believing without belonging.


Reitsma, Jan/ Scheepers, Peer/ Pelzer, Ben/ Schildermann, Hans. (2014): Believing and Belonging in Europe. Cross-national Comparision of Longitudinal Trends (1981-2007) and Determinants. Journal of Empirical Theology. (27), S. 154-175.