It is rather unfortunate that religion in this case is not considered a cultural stabilizer in France but rather creates divisions amongst its citizens. The authors also point out to the fact that the construction of churches in new neighborhoods is requested as much by nonreligious individuals as by the religious ones. It is therefore important to address the issue of the socio-cultural foundations of religion in France. In situations where a religion is very much in the minority such as is the case with Protestanism in France, challenges become even more apparent. French protestanism in this day and age is confronted with problems of identity and visibility where while its identity problems stem from its willingness to be open to the rest of the society as well as its ecumenical overtures towards the Catholic Church, its visibility problems stem from its over-adaptation to modern day society. According to the authors (2011) French Protestanism finds itself in question considering the fact that Protestanism’s secularizing virtues were previously appreciated. Now that established religion is no longer considered a huge part of power structure and individuals have freed themselves from the authority of priests and ministers, some of these individuals desire to see Protestanism regain its spirituality in the nation.
Swift, D. C. (1998). Religion and the American Experience: A Social and Cultural History, 1765 – 1997. M.E. Sharpe.
This is a book in which Swift (1998) discusses and expounds on a number of topics ranging from the early republic to early African American religion, nativism movements, fundamentalism to contemporary culture wars that span nearly two and a half centuries. The author has also synthesized a large amount of information from cultural, intellectual and social history. Divisions that tend to exist among religious group such as the one witnessed in France between Protestants and Catholics are often perceived as reflections of social stratification. In the recent past, American religions have begun as reactions to prevailing socio-economic conditions. The author suggests that as these denominations grew in size and social acceptability their success finally conferred respectability upon practices initially believed to be eccentric or weird. The beginning of the 19th Century saw the US experiencing a wave of religious convulsions where majority of individuals begun using religion to define themselves.