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Individual-Level Determinants of Religious Practice and Belief in Catholic Europe


  • Conway, Brian

    (Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth)


This paper examines individual-level determinants of religious belief and practice through a comparative study of Catholics in Belgium, Ireland and Slovenia. Drawing on the World Values Survey, three interrelated questions are examined: (1) to what extent do Belgian Catholics differ from the Irish and Slovenian Catholics? (2) to what extent is this pattern the same across different social categories? and, (3) what factors help account for variation between Catholics in these three countries? Civic engagement predicts Mass attendance but operates differently in Ireland and Slovenia than in Belgium. Social trust is also predictive of Mass attendance. National pride helps to account for higher levels of belief in God among Irish Catholics. These findings suggest that Catholic identity is expressed in nationally-specific forms.

Suggested Citation

  • Conway, Brian, 2009. "Individual-Level Determinants of Religious Practice and Belief in Catholic Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-14, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2009-14

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    Cited by:

    1. Verme, Paolo, 2009. "Happiness, Deprivation and the Alter Ego," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-18, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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    Roman Catholicism ; Mass Attendance ; Belief ; Comparative ; Europe;
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