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Session 4

Measuring religious belonging: theoretical and methodological challenges

The practiced way of measuring religious belonging vary from one national context to another. Some countries have official state registration of individuals’ religious belonging, while official registration of religion is prohibited by law in other countries. Sometimes religious organisations provide membership figures, while self-reported figures are used in other contexts. Additionally, belonging to a religion or religious organisation has different meaning in different religious and national contexts.

Christianity appear in manifold organisational forms while Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, have mostly weak organizational structures and appear as cultures without formal membership. The continuously changing small religious/spiritual groups vary in organisational form, from strict membership to non-existing organisational structure. This huge variety makes international comparisons difficult. Additional methodological problems include what should be defined as a religious group? How should multiple religious belonging be taken into account? Papers on theoretical, methodological and other challenges in this field are welcome.

Contact person: Lene Kühle, lk@cas.au.dk

Sidansvarig: Elin Widfeldt|Sidan uppdaterades: 2020-01-29
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