Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2005 Volume 1 :: Article 5
2005 Volume 1, Article 5
Religious Competition and Revival in Italy: Exploring European Exceptionalism

Author: Massimo Introvigne (CESNUR, Torino, Italy), Rodney Stark (Baylor University)

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The religious economy approach in the social scientific study of religion emphasizes the importance of supply-side factors in stimulating religious demand. Where many religious firms compete in a relatively unregulated market, levels of religious belief and participation will be far higher than in situations in which religious life is regulated by the state either in favor of a monopoly church or to constrain the market by subsidizing a state church and making it difficult for other religious groups to compete. Changes in the level of competition should thus be followed by changes in the level of popular religious commitment. This prediction is strongly supported when applied to recent religious trends in Italy.

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