Changing Understandings and Interpretations of European Christianity

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We tend to think of contemporary European society as having moved beyond the scenario of religion as a dominant force permeating every aspect of daily life. Westerners are secular, rational, tolerant, modern. Yet as events of the last decade have revealed, issues of religious belief can be as mobilizing in the twenty-first century as they were hundreds of years ago. As Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, secular humanists, and others live side by side in European neighborhoods, religion continues to play a staggeringly important role in many individuals’ lives, from political and economic issues to moral and ethical ones. Religion (and the particular ways one chooses to understand it) matters just as it did centuries and millennia ago.

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