After the Militant, the Volunteer beyond the Secularization.

A cura di: Arnaldo Nesti

After the Militant, the Volunteer beyond the Secularization.

European Identity, Welfare State, Religion(s)

Printed Edition


Pages: 160

ISBN: 9788846441157

Edition: 1a edizione 2002

Publisher code: 1520.392

Availability: Discreta

In 1999 the European universities of Florence, Hannover and Salonica, together with the Israeli Beer Sheva, Ben Gurion University, and two non-profit cultural associations - the Salonica-based Planning and Research and the Florence-based Asfer (Association for the Study of religious Phenomena) -,began research on behalf of the European Commission on theme "European Identity, Welfare State, Religion(s)".The research lasted 28 months and was part of the Targeted Socio-Economic Research programme dealing with social integration.

The research is on the borderline between economic and ethical rationality, between economic development and the development of civic society, both of which are fundamental features of the European tradition. The objective of this convergence cannot ignore the need to construct the conditions for lasting stability that takes account of the cultural, social and political diversity of Europe, a continent with many national communities, each of which has their own cultures and languages. It is a complementary mix of economic, political and social identity. It is important that its vital, living connection should be advanced. One of these is, undoubtedly, the religious factor. This international research, therefore, deals with the question of how the different Christian religious confessions (Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism and Orthodox) and European minority religions as Islam and Judaism, contribute to debate about systems of social welfare in Europe. In this context, the research focuses in particular on the confessional and non-confessional (in so much as they are implicitly religious) humanitarian organizations that contribute to the transformation of social policies in Europe in view of a new European citizenship.

To what extent has the process of secularization, with the individualism of consumption and the market place? The tendency towards a deconfessionalization of religious groups and a "fresh humanistic spell" of the "non confessional" ones, does not lead to the "desertification of souls".

Despite the returning tendency towards bureaucratization and institutionalization it is promising that a large number of citizens dedicate their time and money to help the weak and marginalized people. What is at stake is the principle of subsidiarity, according to which it is possible to provide a more rapid and less costly response to problems, at a local level. Solidarity is the ideal source that groups draw on and aim towards, even if it is incomplete.

The research then has shown that religious values and norms can play a significant role in the formation of a European identity based on the normative foundation of tolerance, solidarity and the acceptance of the "other" in strengthening solidarity and social cohesion in the present multicultural European Union.

After the Militant, then, the Volunteer appears to be an anticipatory figure of a new social phase beyond that of modernity and secularization.

Arnaldo Nesti is professor of Sociology at Florence University and director of the review "Religioni e Società". He also directs the new "International Center for the Study of Contemporary religious Phenomena" in San Gimignano (Siena). Between his books: Provincialia. Scavi sull'identità degli italiani , Polistampa, Firenze (1999); Cosa credono quelli che dicono di credere , Meltemi, Roma (2002).

Arnaldo Nesti , Introduction
Roberto Cipriani , Methodology of the Research
(Introduction; The Methodological Approach of the Research; Comprehensive Scheme of the Structure for the Survey Sampling; Conclusions)
Andrea Spini , Voluntary Service Groups: Reference Models
(Introduction; France; Italy; Germany; Greece; Sweden; Conclusive Observations)
Cristis Konnaris , Facing the European Identity
(Greece; France; Italy; Germany; Sweden)
Costas Migdalis, Johannes Petrou, Maurice Roumani , Facing the "Crisis" of the Welfare State
(Associations and Welfare State; France: the Rejection of the Redistributive Role of Welfare State; Reintegrating Individuals; Germany; Sweden; Greece; Italy)
Arnaldo Nesti , Religions and Values: the tendency towards a solidarity-based Europe
(France; A Common Ethos: Place Human Being in the Centre; Germany; Sweden; Greece; Italy)
Arnaldo Nesti , After the Militant, the Volunteer Beyond Secularization
Acknowledgements and References
Peter Antes , From a Socio-Historical Perspective
Alfredo Jacopozzi , Cultural Trends, 1989-2000.

Serie: Sociologia

Subjects: Policies and Social Services - Sociology of Religions

Level: Scholarly Research

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