Catholics and Statistical Analysis

By | November 8, 2019


STUDENT: This is directed to you, Professor. Thank you for coming in.
I’d like to– if you could just spend a bit more on your theory– talking about secularization, the aspect of the market– and if you take Catholics out of the statistical analysis,
then it works, but if you put Catholics back in, it doesn’t work. I was wondering why that is the case, why is it particularly Catholics that sort of mess up this economic model that’s being proposed.
GORSKI: Well, right, I mean, the problem is double. First of all, Catholic countries do not have, typically, free markets and religion. And yet they tend to be– this is the second point– tend to be more observant than Protestants do, at least if you look at contemporary
survey data. And this turned out to be true on a smaller scale within the United States as well. In the US you also have the additional problem
of Utah. In other words, Mormons, which don’t fit this model terribly well either, and I think actually this anomaly
is relatively easy to account for in terms of the kind of organizational political model that I laid out, which is– number one, Catholics are the pioneers
in the development of missionary strategies, particularly through the use of various
kinds of preaching and teaching orders– and this is one of the things which Protestantism does away with, and doesn’t really understand what it’s lost. They have a much longer-standing tradition of various kinds of parachurch organizations,
lay confraternities, sodalities, other kinds of a quasi-religious organizations
like guilds which then served as a kind of a platform
or a template during the nineteenth century for the development of yet other forms of lay– lay association and parachurch organizations. And you know, the one thing which of course
then becomes a problem for Catholics is that there tends to be this close relationship between– between church and state, and so this is one–
this– to the degree to which you observe secularization within Catholic countries, it typically arises out
of this kind of political conflict between kind of lay republicans and increasingly kind of conventionalized
democratic mass parties. You know, France is one– is the best European example
of this, but, you know, Turkey in a way is kind of you know– I mean it’s like, you know, it’s like the most— it’s an even more radical version of that same kind of process of secular, radical republicanism.

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