religion evolving, not going extinct
Religion is dying out in nine countries, according to a study published recently. The BBC reports that religion may go virtually extinct in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. (They can’t make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn’t ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.)
The authors–Abrams, Yaple and Wiener–used nonlinear dynamics and group social behavior to make their prediction. Dr Weiner notes, “In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%.”
That’s where I challenge the headline: religion is not dying out, but people are no longer affiliating with traditional religious organizations. The mysteries of life and death, and our human hunger for purpose, will not die out. Our desire to make meaning together will not go extinct. We are finding new forms of meaning-making, and some old forms may well go extinct, but organized religion will not disappear.
Full post, with links, at So May We Be.