Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sociologist says Islam questions privatization of religion thesis

Sociologist says Islam questions privatization of religion thesis:
"The growth of Islam in Europe is challenging deeply-held notions that faith is a private matter which should be banished from public life, a prominent sociologist of religion has told a gathering of European Christian leaders - writes Stephen Brown for Ecumenical News International (ENI).

"We ignore the presence of Islam at our peril," Professor Grace Davie of the University of Exeter told leaders from Europe's main Christian traditions at a 15-18 February meeting in Wittenberg in Germany. "This is a catalyst for a much more profound change in the religious landscape of Europe." ..."

This conference in Wittenberg, Germany addressed an issue that many in Europe thought was closed. It has long been assumed that religion has no place whatsoever in public life. Laws, such as the banning of head scarves in French schools, have attempted to enforce this attitude.

But with increasing open expressions of Islam in public life and in politics, the thrust of this conference was to explore ways in which Christian denominations can make a positive contribution.

It should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

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