Non-Religiosity and Anti-Religiosity in Western European Countries

Research by social scientists of the Dutch Erasmus University in the review Politics and Religion reveals that the so-called ‘rationalisation theory’ (higher education leads to unbelief) is not a good explanation for (militant) atheism. In secular countries like the Netherlands non-believers or atheists are rather to be found among the lower educated, while higher educated Dutch are more likely to look sympathetic or more tolerant at religion. However, in countries with a clear-cut religious culture, like Portugal or Italy, a higher education leads to more opposition to religion.
The Rotterdam scholars rather opt for ‘deprivation’ as a relevant explanation. When religion is being marginalised, religious people become more vocal in the public sphere, just as highly educated atheists will in a religious setting. Next, the researchers will study two opposites: religion and anti-religion (communism), which apparently take on different shapes in a Protestant and a Catholic context. You will find the article ‘Deprivatization of Disbelief? Non-Religiosity and Anti-Religiosity in 14 Western European Countries’ at the Cambridge Journals website. Read also a comprehensive overview of secularisation theories ‘Secularisation. Comprehensive overview of theories of secularisation’, for example. Do countries from the Eastern parts of Europe fit this picture?