Mass debates: the Reformations rumble on?

This Sunday, English-speaking Catholics needed to pay extra attention to their spoken responses, as they dealt with a new translation of the Mass which has been in preparation for more than 30 years. As reported in the New York Times, the new text — introduced on the first Sunday in Advent, which traditionally marks the start of the liturgical year — has been controversial, and whilst some Catholics embraced the changes, others spoke out against unnecessary alterations, or against the tradition, in the words of one man interviewed by the NYT, of ‘being told exactly what I have to say, exactly what I have to pray’. But debates around the language of the Mass are nothing new. Continue reading

Economies of faith: The Eurozone crisis and religious history

In a recent article on the Guardian website the deputy director of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy Dr Sascha Becker suggested that the current turmoil in the Eurozone has been shaped in part by religious history. He argues that a noticeable north-south divide to the economic collapse, with Northern European countries such as Germany weathering the storm, while southern countries such as Spain and Italy flounder, follows Max Weber’s theory that the Protestant work ethic helped to further the cause of capitalism. Becker’s research has focused on a greater emphasis placed upon education by Protestants, arguing that this has led to more economic cohesion in Northern European countries. Continue reading