Is there an inexorable trend toward secularization in the West as younger generations in nations from the U.S. to Switzerland are less likely to affiliate with organized religion? Or does longstanding evidence that people become more religious as they age indicate that secularization trends may reverse in rapidly aging societies of high-income countries? At least one group of researchers has come up with some preliminary indications.
The International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) and the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE), an Italian research institute focused on religious studies, are launching a new award for religion reporting, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award. The new prize will honor the work of journalists in newspapers, magazines or news websites that publish regularly in Europe, including Iceland and Russia, and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin.
This summer, journalists from Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Warsaw, Poland, for a conference exploring coverage of faith issues in public life, politics and history in the region, organized by the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) along with a number of sponsors. This column shares comments on these issues from many of the participants.
At our Warsaw conference, a public forum for experts on religion in Eastern Europe was sponsored by the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). This session, titled “From Solidarity forward: The tangled web of religion, history and politics in Eastern Europe,” took place at the University of Warsaw Faculty of Journalism, and was streamed online.
Religion is often at the heart of European news, related to issues including migration, politics, culture and public life. To explore these complex topics, the IARJ is holding a regional conference in Warsaw (Poland) on June 13-14 under the title “Journalism and Religion in Central and Eastern Europe.” One session is open to the public and will be streamed online.
BOLOGNA, Italy, March 3, 2019—The International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) and the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE), an Italian research institute focused on religious studies, have joined forces to launch a new award for religion reporting, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award.
As we continue our series of profiles of our IARJ Regional Representatives, we share inspiring words from Elisa Di Benedetto (our representative for Europe). Even though she focuses on Europe, where she is based, Elisa has become a global public face of the IARJ. In 2012, she was one of our co-founders. She helps to coordinate international conferences to this day. In 2019, she is inspiring American readers of a new book about diversity. And, in this profile, we also share links to follow Elisa online.
IARJ European board member María-Paz López takes us inside a conference exploring the role journalists can play in accurately and fairly covering the waves of migration heading into Europe. She also provides helpful links to a report on journalists’ responses to migration, offered in four different languages.
IARJ member Bhavya Srivastava, a journalist from India, is a 2018 KAICIID Fellow. He writes about the hopes for peacemaking among his colleagues in a recent training program. The center in Austria has expanded dramatically its network of fellows. “Counting alumni and the new 2018 fellows, there are now 142 of us from diverse backgrounds,” Bhavya writes.
Religion is playing a major role in response to the European economic crisis. As faith-based organizations are increasingly depended upon to meet basic needs, a new landscape of challenges and opportunities is emerging that could result in dramatic shifts in church-state relations. A key question: Can a continent, once seen by many as on an inexorable march toward secularization, create new boundaries between the religious and the secular that respond to social needs in Europe’s increasingly diverse societies?