Declining Religious Authority in Greece

This study examines an ignored aspect of secularization in an overlooked case: declining religious authority within the context of Greek state religion. It adopts the nuanced expectation that secularization will follow a distinctive pattern within an idiosyncratic case such as Greece. This pattern is not observable in declining trends of religious commitment, doctrinal orthodoxy or membership rates, but in the waning Church control over popular acceptance of the ‘Greek Orthodox’ frame. The empirical part is based on research concerning the dimensionality of institutional confidence, and employs exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of European Values Study data. Results demonstrate that a large part of the Greek Orthodox constituency perceives a ‘high wall’ of separation between religion and the state. Implications are discussed regarding the plausibility of the neosecularization paradigm.

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