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Nešporová, Olga, Zdeněk R. Nešpor

Religion: An Unsolved Problem for Modern Czech Nation

Nešporová, Olga, Zdeněk R. Nešpor. 2009. „Religion: An Unsolved Problem for Modern Czech Nation.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 45 (6): 1215-1237. ISSN 0038-0288.

The Czech Republic is widely known as the least religious country in the world and most Czechs are quite proud of that fact. The authors, however, challenge both of these characteristics. Czechs might better be considered unchurched than atheist, with various forms of modern New Age spirituality steadily gaining in popularity. Moreover, their reputation for irreligiosity is somewhat questionable, since it is most often based upon communist (and other more historically deep-rooted) anticlerical notions, while people have little real knowledge of the ideas which they so readily reject. These assertions are based both on quantitative data, provided by census returns and ISSP surveys on religion, and on qualitative data, collected in local ethnographic research in the town of Česka Lipa. The Czech population can be divided into three blocks, religionists, spiritualists, and atheists/unbelievers, none of which, however, can be considered uniform in terms of membership or truly mutually exclusive.