Magazine article Anglican Journal

Faith Schools Challenged in Europe

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Faith Schools Challenged in Europe

Article excerpt

Warsaw

(ENI)--An Austrian theologian and sociologist says attacks by a British academic on faith schools is part of a growing "crisis of secularism" in the face of renewed spirituality in European culture.

"Secularism is in crisis when its proponents feel they have to fight back with bills and directives," argues Paul Zulehner, dean of Vienna University's Roman Catholic theology faculty.

The Austrian priest issued a strong rebuttal against the disapproval of faith schools expressed by public figures such as Oxford University biologist Richard Dawkins, a committed atheist.

Mr. Zulehner told ENI that research had produced clear evidence of a continent-wide revival of religiousness, beginning in large cities, which was reflected increasingly in advertising and mass culture. He noted that the "re-spiritualization" was a "protest against secularization."

"It's individualistic and based on free choice, rather than linked with existing religious traditions - but it requires understanding from mainstream churches," continued Mr. Zulehner, who co-directed the European Values Study, which charted attitudes to religion and morality in 1981, 1990 and 1999. …

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