Event Title

Christianity’s Impact on the European Welfare State

Presenter Information

Alexandra QuentalFollow

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Nick Clark

Start Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

Description

Christianity has long been practiced in Europe as the predominant religion. However, not all denominations of Christianity advocate for the same morals and values. Since the church and state were both powerful bodies, and often shared similar roles according to today’s perception of societal responsibilities, the church has influenced the current government. The main two denominations of Christianity are Catholic and Protestant; within the Protestant church there are many smaller denominations, including Lutheranism. How does the predominant denomination of Christianity of a given Western European country shape the type of welfare state? This study focuses on six Western European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Finland. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are predominately Western Protestant; Ireland and Italy have a majority Catholic body, and Finland and Sweden have a high Lutheran population, even though these two countries are both secularized. According to Esping-Andersen’s theory of Three World of Welfare Capitalism, there are three main categories of welfare regimes: conservative, liberal, and social-democratic. Researchers have shown there are differences between Catholic and Protestant work ethics and personal values. The theory for this relationship is based on the idea that Catholics tend to emphasize charity and cooperation with others, which might lead to higher dependency on the government to provide welfare benefits. On the other hand, Protestant ethics emphasize self-reliance and competition, indicating less dependence on the state for welfare support, yet assistance should be available for those who are in need. The hypothesis is that countries with a Protestant majority, will have a welfare system which reflects values associated with Protestantism. Countries with a Catholic majority will have a welfare state with more Catholic values. Finally, countries with a Lutheran population will have welfare system with Protestant values. Included in this research is a quantitative analysis of welfare spending and other religious factors (percentage of popular religion and church attendance) and qualitative case studies highlighting the individual countries’ welfare systems and their importance. The quantitative findings did not show a relationship between religion or church attendance and welfare spending, except with Lutheran church attendance and a negative correlation of welfare spending. The case studies do show a relationship associated with Protestant and Catholic traditional ethics and the development of the welfare state; however, the relationship is inconclusive.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Christianity’s Impact on the European Welfare State

Christianity has long been practiced in Europe as the predominant religion. However, not all denominations of Christianity advocate for the same morals and values. Since the church and state were both powerful bodies, and often shared similar roles according to today’s perception of societal responsibilities, the church has influenced the current government. The main two denominations of Christianity are Catholic and Protestant; within the Protestant church there are many smaller denominations, including Lutheranism. How does the predominant denomination of Christianity of a given Western European country shape the type of welfare state? This study focuses on six Western European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Finland. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are predominately Western Protestant; Ireland and Italy have a majority Catholic body, and Finland and Sweden have a high Lutheran population, even though these two countries are both secularized. According to Esping-Andersen’s theory of Three World of Welfare Capitalism, there are three main categories of welfare regimes: conservative, liberal, and social-democratic. Researchers have shown there are differences between Catholic and Protestant work ethics and personal values. The theory for this relationship is based on the idea that Catholics tend to emphasize charity and cooperation with others, which might lead to higher dependency on the government to provide welfare benefits. On the other hand, Protestant ethics emphasize self-reliance and competition, indicating less dependence on the state for welfare support, yet assistance should be available for those who are in need. The hypothesis is that countries with a Protestant majority, will have a welfare system which reflects values associated with Protestantism. Countries with a Catholic majority will have a welfare state with more Catholic values. Finally, countries with a Lutheran population will have welfare system with Protestant values. Included in this research is a quantitative analysis of welfare spending and other religious factors (percentage of popular religion and church attendance) and qualitative case studies highlighting the individual countries’ welfare systems and their importance. The quantitative findings did not show a relationship between religion or church attendance and welfare spending, except with Lutheran church attendance and a negative correlation of welfare spending. The case studies do show a relationship associated with Protestant and Catholic traditional ethics and the development of the welfare state; however, the relationship is inconclusive.