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Hungary for Religion: A Supply-Side Interpretation of the Hungarian Religious Revival

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The collapse of Soviet Communism has brought about sweeping revivals of religion in most of Eastern Europe and the Soviet successor states. This astonishing change in religious activity appears ideal for further testing of the supply-side theory of religious change. In this paper I investigate whether the dramatic religious revival in Hungary can be explained using a supply-side framework. I begin with a brief sketch of the history of religion in 20th-century Hungary in order to place current data in the proper context. Next, I present data from national surveys of Hungary and eyewitness accounts to assess the causal relationship between religious restrictions and religious activity as predicted by supply-side theory. Then I investigate secularization accounts of religious activity in Hungary and conclude that the supply-side thesis best fits the available data. Finally, I indicate the leveling off of the Hungarian revival due to decreased religious competition and posit future expectations concerning religious activity in Hungary.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington,

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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