Archive for January 2014

Vista 16: Losing my religion: Spirituality and Religion in Europe

January 30, 2014

Spirituality pictureHardly a month goes by without some media report about the slow demise of Christianity in Europe. Certainly many sociologists continue to hold to the secularization thesis which predicts the inevitable decline of religion in modern society.

Yet as Goodhew’s collection of studies (2012) has shown, the picture (in Britain at least) is at certainly more complex than that. Yes, there are many signs of decline, but also of growth. Secularization and desecularization are occurring simultaneously. This is born out by a recent study on church growth in the Church of England by David Voas

Certainly, surveys like the European Values Study show that many (but not all) countries show a decline in organized religion. However, though fewer consider themselves to be ‘religious’ than previous generations, many more describe themselves as ‘spiritual’. So is spirituality replacing religion in Europe?

Our lead article by the Australian sociologist Philip Hughes goes some way to answering that question through analysis of data from the International Social Survey Programme. Jim Memory follows that up by a detailed analysis ofhis  research into the spirituality of European students. And Darrell Jackson wrestles with the thorny issue of definitions as well as setting out the breadth of research that is taking place into spirituality in Europe today.

This issue concludes with a case study by Jo Appleton looking at some of the challenges of discipleship in a context where people are attracted by ‘spirituality’ but have little understanding of following Christ.

Download Vista 16 here

Crucial Issues for Eurpoean Mission and Theology

January 1, 2014

If you are working in mission in Europe, what are the issues you need to understand?

Redcliffe College is offering the MA module Crucial Issues for European Mission and Theology as a stand alone course in late January and March.  You will explore European identity, secularism, migration, Islam in Europe,European politics,  the relationship between Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches and much more.

Taught by Jim Memory, you can choose to study for credit or to audit the course. If you complete the assignments, you can either register and continue with an MA at Redcliffe, or use the credit as APL (accredited prior learning) to study with us up to three years later.  If you wish to continue with an MA, the cost of this module will be deducted from the total fee.

So if you are free on 31 January – 3 February and 14-17 march 2014, why not take this exciting opportunity?