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AFTER SECULARIZATION by The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight

By The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two

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Zrinscak and I. Borowik (Zagreb: Institute for Social Research, 2004) 38. , and Timothy Jones, The Next American Spirituality (Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor, 2000) 49. ”9 Compared to the “real thing”—religious tradition—New Age spiritualities of life are impoverished, vague, attenuated, and quasi-spiritual, if not secular. To discuss this defense in connection with the Kendal Project, Voas and Bruce draw attention to the finding that nearly half of the respondents to the questionnaire sent to all the participants of the holistic milieu did not consider their activities to be of spiritual significance.

31 T he H edgehog R eview / S pring & S U mmer 0 6 One further point is significant and reflects a shift that is taking place right across Europe. The growing presence of other faith communities in general, and of the Muslim population in particular, is challenging some deeply held European assumptions. The notion that faith is a private matter and should, therefore, be proscribed from public life—notably from the state and from the education system—is widespread in Europe (not only in France).

Rather more provocative, however, are the conclusions that emerge if you look carefully at who, precisely, in British society is advocating religious as opposed to ethnic toleration. Very frequently it turns out to be those in society who do not depend on an electoral mandate: the royal family, significant spokespersons in the House of Lords (where other faith communities are well represented by appointment, not by election), and prominent members of the established Church. 12 12 For a more detailed presentation of this argument, including the discussion of specific examples, see Grace Davie, “Pluralism, Tolerance and Democracy: Theory and Practice in Europe,” The New Religious Pluralism and Democracy, ed.

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