Economics of religion on trial: how disestablishment did not lead to religious revival in the Swiss cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel

According to ideas in contemporary economics of religion, religious disestablishment will lead to religious vitality: more strictness, more evangelising, and more growth. The present article puts this theory to the test by inspecting the historical record (1900 to the present) of the two Swiss canto...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of contemporary religion
Main Author: Stolz, Jörg 1967-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Carfax Publ. [2018]
In: Journal of contemporary religion
Year: 2018, Volume: 33, Issue: 2, Pages: 229-246
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Canton / Canton / Religion / Denationalization / Religious renewal
IxTheo Classification:AD Sociology of religion; religious policy
KBC Switzerland
Further subjects:B regulation of religion
B Establishment of religion
B economics of religion
B Secularisation
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Description
Summary:According to ideas in contemporary economics of religion, religious disestablishment will lead to religious vitality: more strictness, more evangelising, and more growth. The present article puts this theory to the test by inspecting the historical record (1900 to the present) of the two Swiss cantons where disestablishment went farthest—Geneva and Neuchâtel—and by comparing them to other Swiss cantons where church and state remained closely linked. I find that the predictions of the economic model are not corroborated. Formerly established churches did not become stricter, did show increased, but relatively unsuccessful marketing efforts, did not grow, and became very poor financially. Non-established churches did not seem to benefit in any way from the disestablishment. The article makes four specific theoretical points that explain why this was the case.
ISSN:1469-9419
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of contemporary religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/13537903.2018.1469263