In the last issue of Futuribles (431, July-August 2019), Pierre Bréchon presented the first lessons for France from the latest European Values Study (EVS) and stressed the substantial gap that exists between the pessimistic – even alarmist – language of those commenting on surveys on social cohesion, and actual long-term trends in French values. Olivier Galland, also drawing on the results of this latest wave of EVS findings, now arrives at the same conclusion with regard to the argument advanced by Jérôme Fourquet in his latest book, which finds a growing division of French society into various identity-based communities.
Galland examines the three main arguments advanced by Fourquet in support of his thesis that France is becoming an “archipelago”: the move away from Catholicism, the “secession of the elites” and the cultural defection of the working classes. Citing the statistical evidence, he demonstrates that on these various points, things are not quite so simple and that the long-term trends do not corroborate these arguments. Here again, we must beware of reaching over-hasty conclusions that lead us to set social classes too starkly against each other. We must also take account of the convergences on values that exist across the whole of French society.
Situation paradoxale que celle de l’Amérique latine dans sa sphère religieuse. Bastion du catholicisme, le sous-continent abrite à ce jour 425 millions d’individus se réclamant de l’Église romaine — soit 40 % de la population mondiale issue de cette confession — et a vu l’un des siens accéder au trône de Pierre en 2013, en la personne du pape François. Institution majeure, l’Église catholique latino-américaine est aussi l’une des plus exposées à la concurrence d’Églises protestantes ...
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C’est au Point Éphémère qu’a eu lieu mardi 23 avril 2019 « À contro courants », le dernier rendez-vous mensuel du Design fiction club créé en 2017 par les designers Max Mollon et Welid Labidi, habituellement hébergé à la Gaîté lyrique. Ouverts à tous, ces événements ont pour ambition de familiariser les participants à l’usage du design pour stimuler les imaginaires du futur, ainsi que de les inciter à débattre de sujets de société et d’avenir. En mettant ...
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Voici un petit livre qui ne s’embarrasse pas de détails pour livrer une thèse sans nuance : alors que l’on est entré dans « l’histoire universelle », époque où tous les hommes partagent désormais « la même histoire et la même planète » (p. 19), la violence sous toutes ses formes envahirait notre société et menacerait sa stabilité. Devant ce fléau que personne ne verrait, l’auteur joue les lanceurs d’alerte : il faut que les citoyens se réveillent pour défendre l ...
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Il n’est pas fréquent de disposer d’un texte écrit en commun par deux personnes issues de milieux aussi différents : d’une part Bernard Philippe, ex-fonctionnaire européen, avec une longue expérience du Proche-Orient et notamment de Jérusalem ; d’autre part, David Meyer, rabbin et professeur à l’université pontificale de Rome. Faute de connaissances en matière talmudique, notre commentaire se limitera à l’analyse politique, qui présente à elle seule un intérêt évident, par l’éclairage nouveau qu’elle ...
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Though the existence of disparities between the societies of the world’s different countries and between their specific contexts makes it impossible to determine precisely and exhaustively what social developments will occur worldwide over the coming decades, a certain number of deep-seated, structuring trends can be identified. As Julien Damon shows here, drawing on his contribution to the 2016 Vigie Report, four major trends are worthy of attention: a decrease in poverty worldwide; a continuing advance of the middle classes in the emerging countries and the consequences that ensue in terms of consumption; ongoing urbanization; and increased religious influence. Admittedly, these trends impact poor and rich countries very differently. They are, nonetheless, crucial in the development of the world and of the societies that will shape it in the future.
Based on a review by Sébastien Abis To counter acquiescence in the widespread notion of a putative ‘clash of civilizations’, French philosopher and sociologist Raphaël Liogier has, in his latest book, provided a sound, impressively argued analysis that is diametrically opposed to the arguments of Samuel Huntington. According to Liogier—and this is a thread running through his work—’we have, conversely, for centuries been seeing the roll-out of a global civilization.’ The language of those who believe in the ...
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L’analyse des relations internationales porte de plus en plus sur les dynamiques sociales et les enjeux de développement humain. Les conflits et les tensions sont de moins en moins des affaires d’État. Le rôle des sociétés, des communautés locales et religieuses, ou encore des associations s’avère très prégnant dans ce paysage géopolitique contemporain où la globalisation des échanges, l’accentuation des inégalités et l’« apolarité » contribuent à l’impression de désordre. Dans un tel contexte, il peut ...
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L’événement a été largement relayé par les médias : le Vatican a publié en juin dernier une encyclique du pape François, Laudato Si (Loué sois-tu), dédiée à l’écologie, à la sauvegarde de « la maison commune » . Le choix de cette expression n’est pas anodin, puisqu’elle englobe l’humanité, et pas uniquement la communauté catholique, ni même chrétienne. En 2010, Benoît XVI affirmait déjà qu’« il est nécessaire que les sociétés technologiquement avancées soient disposées à favoriser des ...
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The European Values Study is one of the rare surveys to devote so much space to the religious dimension and to allow us to observe developments in nine countries of Western Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) over three decades, from 1981 to 2008. In this article Pierre Bréchon draws the main lessons from that study so far as religious practices and beliefs in Western Europe are concerned. He shows, for example, how the various dimensions of religiosity have changed over time in these countries: how institutional attachment to a religious universe has fallen appreciably in Western Europe (with two countries –Italy and Ireland– resisting secularization); how individual religious practice (prayer and meditation) is also in decline; how the image of the Churches is generally worsening, though the demand for specific ceremonies has been maintained (marriages, burials etc.). There generally is a lesser intensity of religious feelings, less belief in a god, while belief in life after death, heaven, hell and sin has changed, as well as belief in reincarnation and good luck charms. Pierre Bréchon goes on to stress the high level of consistency in religious attitudes (between faiths, cultural practices etc.) and studies the evolution of the level of religiosity (declining in Western Europe, but with variations between different countries) and the possible correlations with the sex, age, educational level etc. of the persons surveyed. Lastly, after an analysis of the observed dissonances in religiosity and the remodellings of religious belief, Pierre Bréchon shows the extent to which the impact of religious socialization remains determinant. He also offers an analysis of levels of religiosity by age-group, from which it emerges that, where religion is concerned, the generational effect is the most crucial, the general trend being towards a gradual decline in religiosity over the generations.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, Jean-François Mayer looks at the concept of fundamentalism. The notion, though widely used in very varying contexts –not to say loosely used and misused– has nonetheless a very precise meaning in the world of religion, as this article demonstrates.
After recalling the emergence of fundamentalism in the USA within the Protestant community and that movement’s entry into politics, Jean-François Mayer goes on to analyse the extent to which the concept has spread to other religious groups and what it refers to in those cases. Among other things, he highlights the fundamentalists’ fear of seeing the values they advocate threatened, points up certain developments in modern society which they regard as deviant (abortion rights, tolerance of homosexuals, the detachment of certain political forces from religion etc.) and underscores the fundamentalists’ frequent evocation of an idealized past of their particular strand of religion etc. He particularly stresses the great diversity of groups that can be placed in this category, and of the contexts in which they operate and, as a result, of the political practices which they adopt.
Drawing on the comparative analyses on which his study is based, Jean-François Mayer proposes a new typology that is capable of dividing the different forms of fundamentalism into four separate categories: transformational, reforming, restorative and conservative protest movements. Lastly, he examines the effects of the fundamentalisms on the societies in which they are established: this includes the danger of the denigration of minority groups and a variable level of political impact, depending on contexts and on the religion concerned.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, Philippe Portier looks at the development of relations between Churches and states in Western Europe. He begins by noting the importance of the religious heritage and outlines the two dominant models: the “confessional state” model, in which one religion is officially singled out (this applies mainly in the Protestant and Orthodox countries) and the model of Church/state separation, in either its flexible (in Central Europe) or rigid form (mainly in France).
However, Portier goes on to highlight an increasingly marked long-term trend for a “combining of trajectories”: in other words, a simultaneous movement of “deconfessionalization” in the countries of Catholic tradition (Italy, Spain) –and also in the Lutheran (Norway) and Orthodox (Greece) nations– and of a re-entry of religion into the public sphere (particularly in France). As Portier sees it, these developments might well represent the emergence of a common model of secularism which, without totally erasing national differences in the regulation of faiths, could be said to be shifting all these countries toward a relatively unified system of “co-operative separation”.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, François Mabille provides a conspectus of the recent development of religions worldwide and presents a number of possible future scenarios for several of them. He begins by reminding us which are the numerically dominant religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc.), how they are distributed geographically and how that distribution has changed over a period of almost a century. He stresses, in passing, the difficulties inherent in statistical assessments of this kind, in which the data may be incomplete or biased, or mask more subtle developments.
Mabille goes on to analyse four major trends that have manifested themselves in the worldwide spread of religious influence: the return of religion to the political agenda, the broadening of the spectrum of religious movements, the increasing political role of religious diasporas, and the vitality of both Islam and Christianity. These are four developments which complicate the potential process of secularization. Lastly, Mabille turns a spotlight on the futures of Catholicism (“from crisis to decline?”), of Islam (“secularism, fundamentalism or liberalism?”) and of Buddhism with a Western slant.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, particularly on the continent of Europe, Pierre Bréchon, who coordinated the dossier, offers an analysis of the socio-political effects of the religious dimension in Europe. Drawing on the results of the last European Values Study (2008), he shows, for example, the influence of the religious factor on value-systems: the cultural differences between countries depending on the dominant religion; the influence of individual religious identities (religious affiliation, practice) in the attachment to certain values; the respective importance of the geographical and religious dimensions in value-systems etc.
It emerges, more or less, that the dominant values found in the various “georeligious” spaces identified square with those of the individuals claiming allegiance to the corresponding religion or denomination. Protestants, for example, manifest more modern values (less attachment to the traditional family model, greater liberalism on moral issues, greater politicization etc.), as do those who have no religious affiliations. Muslims and Orthodox Christians have a more traditional system of values (family, morals, authority, national pride etc.), while Catholics occupy an intermediate position. Pierre Bréchon goes on to study the specific impact of the religious variables in value-systems by way of a “ceteris paribus” statistical analysis, cross-comparing other variables (sex, age, income etc.).
He concludes that it is religious geography which introduces the most notable differences into value-systems, not the individual dimensions of religiosity (such as declared affiliations) and that, while denominational allegiance is not to any great extent a discriminating factor, degree of religiosity does, on the other hand, have distinctly more of an influence on values (in the direction of greater traditionalism) –and this is the case whatever the denomination concerned.
Ce numéro de mars-avril de Futuribles est beaucoup plus volumineux que d’ordinaire. Espérons que son épaisseur ne nuira pas à l’attention qu’il mérite de la part de nos lecteurs. Ce choix est dicté par l’importance particulière des deux sujets qui y sont traités : celui de la solidarité entre les générations, et celui de l’impact social et politique des religions. Le premier thème s’impose en raison de la crise majeure du système français de protection ...
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La progression de la crémation (plus d’un quart des obsèques aujourd’hui, contre 1 % en 1980) est à mettre en relation avec la préférence majoritaire, exprimée par la population aujourd’hui en vie (dont celle qui est encore très éloignée de l’échéance ultime,) pour ce choix qui, partant, relègue peu à peu l’inhumation. Ce recours accru, appelé encore donc à augmenter, a pour conséquence une transformation de la place et du rôle des cimetières. Il traduit de ...
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In 2009 the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, which laid the foundations for the theory of evolution, revived the debates around Darwinism and the opposition it continues to arouse. In this article Jacques Arnould shows that the veritable crusade launched against the theory of evolution by a great variety of groups has to be taken seriously.
In the first two parts of his article, he points up the “intellectual” origin of the opposition and shows, in particular, that the relatively strong creationist upsurge in the United States has also spread to the Muslim world and has for some years now been carried forward by a more subtle school of thought dubbed “Intelligent Design”. Whereas creationism was religious in origin (in American Protestant and conservative movements), it would seem that the advocates of Intelligent Design do not all argue in religious terms grounded in biblical interpretation. Arnould examines the scientific character of this approach, which he regards as a misguided and unjustified alternative to the current theories of evolution.
Even if a tradition of secularism protects French society in a way from the excesses of American-style creationism, Arnould takes the view (in the third part of his article) that we in Europe must take the debates around Darwinism and creationism seriously, since the hostility of certain groups to evolutionary theories carries with it an erroneous understanding of the sciences, in which ideological presuppositions are involved. Moreover, teachers cannot avoid raising the question of origins and its philosophical implications (and this is also true for theologians).
Arnould thus advocates a “philosophical approach to biology”, in order to avoid dogmatic, reductionist or fundamentalist excesses. The question is an important one, given the increasing role of the life sciences in our societies.
In late November 2009, the Swiss voted in a referendum to ban the construction of new minarets on their territory. That event, Jean-François Drevet reminds us, may be interpreted as an “[alarm] signal to the whole of Europe”, which still has “complex and uncertain relations with its Muslims and the [largely Muslim] countries on its eastern and southern periphery”.
In this context, Drevet asks what led the Swiss people to vote as they did, in order to draw significant lessons at the European level. He then reflects on the dimension to be accorded to religion and, more specifically, Islam, in the European Union’s foreign relations.
PARTIE 1 : ÉVOLUTION DES VALEURS DANS LE MONDE Tendance 1 : Essor des valeurs postmatérialistes dans les pays riches Tendance 2 : Des valeurs bricolées Incertitude 1 : Un renforcement des aires de civilisation ? Incertitude 2 : Vers une conscience environnementale universelle ? PARTIE 2 : ÉVOLUTION DES VALEURS EN EUROPE Tendance 1 : Des moeurs toujours plus libérales Tendance 2 : La quête d’une plus grande autonomie dans le travail Tendance 3 : Une adhésion déclinante au libéralisme Tendance 4 : Une famille moins hiérarchisée Incertitude 1 : Protection ...
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Jean-Pierre Dupuy has for many years been alerting us to the dangers inherent in modern societies, which are, in his view, being led to destruction by their own developmental model. In his latest work, La Marque du sacré (Paris: Carnets Nord, 2009), he takes forward the thinking, begun some years ago, on the imminence of (ecological, nuclear or technology-convergence) disasters and, in order to avoid these apocalyptic prospects, proposes that we restore the world's sacredness as a way of equipping humanity to avoid the worst possible fate. He aims, in this book, to seek out the mark of the sacred in contemporary writings and other rational reflections on the present world, and to show that sacredness is needed to contain violence and that it is not necessarily the enemy of reason. Gérard Donnadieu, a specialist in religious matters, has read this book for Futuribles and points up the main lessons to be drawn from it.
Alors que huit années sous la présidence de George W. Bush, born-again revendiqué, ont renforcé l'image très religieuse des États-Unis, une étude du Trinity College met en évidence le rejet accru de toute forme de religion organisée par les Américains. Les années 2000 confirment ainsi une tendance amorcée dès les années 1990, à savoir le recul des religions traditionnelles.
On 12 September 2006 in a speech at the University of Regensburg entitled "Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections", Pope Benedict XVI deprecated all violence committed with religious intent. His argument ran as follows: God is the "word", the logos, primordial reason. And reason is precisely the opposite of violence and the passions. To illustrate his thesis, the Pope quoted a 14th-century statement by Manuel II Paleologus on Islam: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Taken out of context, these words gave rise to a very significant polemic, many commentators seeing them as an all-out attack on Islam, here reduced to fundamentalism. Some major demonstrations ensued, together with episodes of physical violence, but there was also a response from the Islamic intellectual world (framed by 38 Muslim legal scholars and other representatives of Islam) which received very little media coverage.
Bruno Étienne, a specialist in the comparative analysis of religions and a campaigner for inter-faith dialogue, looks back over this controversy from the perspective of the faith/reason debate within the monotheistic religions in Europe. He draws in particular on the analysis proposed by Jean Bollack, Christian Jambet and Abdelwahab Meddeb in a work published in 2007: La Conférence de Ratisbonne. Enjeux et controverses [The Regensburg Lecture: Issues and Controversies].
Le Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life a récemment publié un important rapport rendant compte d'une enquête sur l'appartenance religieuse des Américains. Parmi les très nombreuses données, l'enquête révèle notamment la grande mobilité des appartenances. Le marché religieux est caractérisé par une forte concurrence et la fluidité des adhésions.
On 12 October 2007, the "India 2025" Conference was held in Paris. It was organized by the Institute of Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN, Paris) and the "Asia 21" group (Futuribles International). Among the questions tackled were geopolitical developments in India, some aspects of which were covered in the February 2008 issue by Frédéric Grare and Isabelle Saint-Mézard. Alain Lamballe, who also spoke at the conference, gave an account of the factors that were likely to impede the rise of India between now and 2025 and he presents his analysis for us here.
Lamballe takes a highly pessimistic view of the future of South-Eastern Asia. He stresses India's weaknesses - namely the reservations of the two majority religions about progress, the potential ethnic and religious rivalries, the risks of insurrection and terrorism, the lack of energy resources and the regional geopolitical dangers etc. There is nothing to indicate that the "gloomy" scenarios that can be derived from these weaknesses will actually materialize over the next 20 years, but it is important, nonetheless, to be aware of them, in order to develop a better grasp of the elements that might lead to such an outcome and to observe how they develop over time.