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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents an empirically based discussion on the topic of religion and social issues. It offers several interesting critiques of empirical research on this relationship between religion and social problems in Europe, in particular in Finland. The article poses a number of important questions for religions, including that of how they may come over time to be perceived as social welfare institutions rather than bearers of a transcendental message. It also argues that religions which seek to resolve social problems come to be perceived as providing ‘institutions of authenticity’ in the sense of providing those meaningful horizons that individual choice always requires.

Keywords: Europe, religion, social problems, Finland, social welfare, transcendental message, individual choice

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