Pointers Vol.19-3 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.19-3 ( December 2009)
Articles inclue:
  • Religion and Ethnicity - More than one-fifth (22%) of all people resident in Australia at the time of the 2006 Census were born overseas. Seventy-one per cent were born in Australia, and a further 7 per cent did not answer the question. This article explores the impact that migration has had on Australia's religious profile.
  • USA or Europe: Who is Setting the Trend for the Future? - Is the USA or Europe setting the trend for the global future of religious faith? This has been a contentious issue for decades. In Europe, some commentators describe the trend as ‘secularisation’ in which religion gradually loses its place in society and in people’s ways of thinking, to be replaced by non-religious organisations and ways of thinking. It has been described as an inevitable process rooted in the nature of modernity. Commentators in the USA have responded by arguing that the problem of the lack of vitality of religion in Europe is just the lack of plurality of religious options and the absence of a competitive spirit. There is no fundamental reason why religion in Europe should not be as vital as it is in the United States if European countries allowed the competition that comes from a plurality of religious groups, it has been argued. This debate has been the topic of recent books by major thinkers in the world of the sociology of religion such as Peter Berger, Grace Davie and David Martin. The discussion continued in July 2009 at the conference of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion held in Santiago,  Spain.
  • The Civil Wedding Option - One of the most significant impacts on marriage celebration in Australia was the introduction of a broader civil marriage option in 1973. Previously, couples desiring a civil marriage were mainly confined to an official Registry Office. From 1973, authorised marriage celebrants could conduct weddings in parks, homes and a variety of non-church settings, usually with a style that met the needs of the couple. In 1973, 83.6 per cent of marriages were conducted by religious celebrants. Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies since 1999 when 51.3 per cent of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. In 2008, the trend toward civil ceremonies continued, with 65.0 per cent of marriages performed by civil celebrants.
  • Snapshots of Migration and Church Attendance - The 2006 National Church Life Survey asked all participating church attenders about their country of birth.
    • Seven in ten church attenders were born in Australia (72%)
    • Three in ten church attenders were born elsewhere (28%)
    • The percentage of migrants in church life is similar to the percentage in the wider Australian population (26% born elsewhere)

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