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Religious Socialization in Our Time

Call for papers

Religious Socialization in Our Time

The 21st Nordic Conference for Sociology of Religion Umeå University, Sweden August 14-17, 2012

Religious socialization can be defined as the process by which new generations gradually acquire the religious values and ideas of older generations. In that process there are conscious agents, partly with differing agendas: parents, religious organizations and society.

From the point of view of religious organizations, there is strong evidence of unsuccessful religious socialization. Both in Europe and in other parts of the Western world, churches and other religious organizations lose members and participants. It would seem, that efforts towards religious socialization efforts in families, churches, and schools are not successful in recruiting members for churches and denominations.

Apart from the family, church and school there are other channels for religious socialization. One of the most important is the Internet, where values and ideas are disseminated among peers. So far, research indicates that this kind of socialization does not result primarily in membership of religious organizations.

In the conference key note speakers and, it is hoped, paper presentations will cast light on religious socialization in varying cultural and religious traditions, in different school systems and from the perspective of both senders and receivers. It is hoped that the conference will lead to a deepened understanding of the process by which religious ideas and values make inroads into new generations.