Church Bells Are Still Ringing. But the Minarets? Secularisation in Flanders

(Patrick Loobuyck) The Low Countries – 2017, № 25, pp. 74-81

So long as society was permeated by religion, the public expression of religiosity was hardly noticed, let alone the subject of public debate. Secularisation and religious diversity have changed all that. Just at a time when secularisation in Flanders has reached its peak and society hardly knows how to deal with domestic religious expression in public places, large numbers of immigrants have arrived with a strong and visible religious identity. Furthermore, their religiosity has had little experience of secularism and on some issues is fundamentally at odds with the assumptions of secular society. Religion remains therefore a subject of debate in spite of and because of secularisation – not because secularisation is in retreat.

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