- Secularisation and the rise of immigrant religions: the case of the Netherlands
- Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Geographica
- Pages (from-to)
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Europe and the United States are very different as far as the significance of religion is concerned, both in the private and the public sphere. Whereas autochthon Europe is secularising to a great extent and any growth of religiousness is mainly a matter of immigrants, the United States is the scene of a vivid market of numerous churches, congregations and sects culminating in a high rate of people that belong to a church or
religious community and that believe in God. The aim of this paper is to explain this gap between Europe and the United States on the basis of social science theory and theoretical insights derived from (historical) political and cultural geography. It is argued that a different kind of historical political territorialisation (from below in the US versus from above in Europe) in combination with culturally selective settlement (US) is at the centre of the explanation.
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