Secularization and the declining impact of religion on moral choices in Europe

Inge Sieben, Loek Halman

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formWeb publication/siteProfessional


For many Europeans, religion provides moral rules and regulations concerning moral choices in end-of-life issues. These religious guidelines are often reflected in politics to justify policies on important human issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. Such moral policies are more prominent on the political (and judicial) agenda in societies with a stronger religiously based party system.1 However, secularization of society is assumed to have resulted in a declining impact of religion on moral issues. Following Wilson2, who understood secularization as the declining social significance of religion, this would imply that religion is not any longer an important factor in today`s people`s lives. Although secularization is assumed to be a general trend in Europe, it is not very likely that it takes place all over Europe in the same way and to the same extent. The secularization process may be country or region specific, and the same goes for its implications.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherUniversitat Wien
EditionWerte zoom 14
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2022


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