Europe: Arena of Pluralization and Diversification of Religions

Europe: Arena of Pluralization and Diversification of Religions Journal of Religion in Europe 1 (2008) 133–155 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI 10.1163/187489108X311441 www.brill.nl/jre Journal of Religion in Europe Europe: Arena of Pluralization and Diversifi cation of Religions Hans G. Kippenberg Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt, Am Hügel 1, 99084 Erfurt, Germany kippen@uni-bremen.de Abstract If participation in church activities is critical for the strength or weakness of religion, there is no denying that Europe comes off poorly. According to American sociologists of religion the rise of religious pluralism in the USA was due to the strict separation between state and church; it compelled congregations and denominations to com- pete for believers. Th e European case is diff erent. Here the diversity of religions existed long before the modern period. Since its ancient beginning European culture sought its authorities outside its geographical confi nes. Greeks and Jews, Hellenism and Hebraism, Athens and Jerusalem, later Mecca and Islam became cultural points of orientation for people living in Europe. Th e article addresses the cultural and social processes that transformed these and other foreign religious traditions into typical European manifestations: the Roman legal system turned foreign religions into legal categories; it was modernization that led to the articulation of distinctly http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Europe Brill

Europe: Arena of Pluralization and Diversification of Religions

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1874-8910
eISSN
1874-8929
D.O.I.
10.1163/187489108X311441
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Journal of Religion in Europe 1 (2008) 133–155 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI 10.1163/187489108X311441 www.brill.nl/jre Journal of Religion in Europe Europe: Arena of Pluralization and Diversifi cation of Religions Hans G. Kippenberg Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt, Am Hügel 1, 99084 Erfurt, Germany kippen@uni-bremen.de Abstract If participation in church activities is critical for the strength or weakness of religion, there is no denying that Europe comes off poorly. According to American sociologists of religion the rise of religious pluralism in the USA was due to the strict separation between state and church; it compelled congregations and denominations to com- pete for believers. Th e European case is diff erent. Here the diversity of religions existed long before the modern period. Since its ancient beginning European culture sought its authorities outside its geographical confi nes. Greeks and Jews, Hellenism and Hebraism, Athens and Jerusalem, later Mecca and Islam became cultural points of orientation for people living in Europe. Th e article addresses the cultural and social processes that transformed these and other foreign religious traditions into typical European manifestations: the Roman legal system turned foreign religions into legal categories; it was modernization that led to the articulation of distinctly

Journal

Journal of Religion in EuropeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: PLURALISM; LAW; EUROPE; MODERNITY; RELIGION; SECULARIZATION; FUNDAMENTALISM

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