In this podcast Fr Michel Mac Gril SJ talks to Miriam Gormally about his recent survey on religious attitudes and practices in Ireland which is the basis for hismost recent book - The Challenge of Indifference.

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MacGreil

The Challenge of Indifference

Author: Michel MacGril SJ
Publisher: Veritas
ISBN: 090151957
About the report

The report measures the religious attitudes, behaviour and beliefs of a national sample of 1,015 Irish Adults (18 years and older) interviewed between November 2007 and March 2008.

The results are mixed in the sense they provide a source of hope for the revival of Religion from a solid spiritual basis and a cause of concern for the future of popular and regular religious practice among certain categories of the Irish population. A detailed analysis is provided in the book, which highlights the areas of hope and concern.

Relatively speaking the level of religious practice is still quite strong. When comparing with the previous study in 1988-89 there has been a nominal percentage decline and overall the trend is downward. The decline in ‘personal prayer’ and sensed ‘closeness to God’ is much less severe than in the case of public worship. The level of personal belief in God is very high in that less than 5% of the total sample said that they ‘did not believe in God’.

One of the most disappointing results is the substantial in the percentages who saw Christian Church Unity as desirable in principle, or possible in practice. A positive message from the report is the evidence of a significant and substantial reduction in prejudice against religious and non-believing categories.

There are other issues measured and monitored in the report such as the ‘handing on of the faith’ and the level of support for vocations.