chapter  7
11 Pages

The persistence of institutional religion in modern Europe


The idea of European exceptionalism is increasingly, if not universally, accepted by scholars interested in the sociology of religion in the modern world. European patterns of religion are no longer seen as a global prototype, but constitute an unusual case in a world in which vibrant religiosity becomes the norm. Peter Berger is a notable exponent of this idea (Berger, 1992; 1998; 1999). It follows that explanations for European patterns of religion must lie in Europeanness rather than in the connections between religion and modernity per se, an argument that I have elaborated in some detail in Davie (2000a) and summarized in Davie (2000b). There is no need to repeat these arguments over again here.