For at least 500 years, differences in denomination have helped shape social life in Europe. How have religious perspectives influenced the perception of the other, lifestyles, and living conditions? How do we weigh the influence of religion in relation to other social characteristics – and is religion still relevant in modern Europe? This collection of papers in this HSR Forum addresses the role of religious affiliation and belief on demo-graphic and social behavior in the past. Drawing on both qualitative and quan-titative sources, the authors seek to understand how attachment to particular religious denominations shaped the attitudes and behavior of people in a variety of European societies in previous centuries. The papers focus on denominational differences in demographic and economic behavior in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland and Albania. While aware that religion was not the only determinant of differences in thought and behavior, they argue that religion influenced mentalities and actions, especially in societies divided by denomination.
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