Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In between

While the secular media has its way with the motu proprio and the Responses (prayers calling for Jews to convert = not very nice and the Catholic Church leaving out all the Protestants = how cliquish!), I mention another article I read that the readership might find interesting.

The Hoover Institution's Policy Review has an article entitled, "How the West Really Lost God" by Mary Eberstadt. I read through it already last week. I'd quote from it, but it's not very easy and the gist is easy enough to understand...

In some cases (Eberstadt likes to qualify every statement of hers with that phrase or something similar to it, as if by using it she cannot be accused of generalizing), family decline came before a decline in religious participation in Europe, contrary to the normally held sociological view that one finds religion and then goes on to breed as ordered to by God. She points out how the filtering through Western society of the ideals of the Enlightenment has not come out the way it was supposed to as religious belief carries on despite the fact that 'God is dead'. She points out that in a few cases, it seems more likely that a breakdown in family came before a decline in religious belief and participation. Eberstadt points out that long before the 1960s, Europe was demographically headed downhill. She also points out that prevailing sociological theory on the subject tends to atomize the individual instead of seeing him or her as a part of the larger whole...

So with family decline /preceding/ religious decline, Eberstadt plugs some holes and makes the point that maybe we've got it backwards, 'at least in a few cases'.

Read it all and decide if you agree.

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