April 2009: New poll on Norwegians and religion

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some interesting numbers from an article here in Norwegian from Tønsbergs Blad (a newspaper) on religious beliefs in Norway from a poll done by SMI Vestfold for the paper.

First of all, a slight majority of Norwegians do not believe in God: 52.5%. This is in line with other surveys that show pretty much the same thing. Note though that the question was a simple yes/no, so there was no room to choose I don't know or another answer.

Apparently in another survey done by the EU (and this is also mentioned in the same article) 40% of students in Norway said they didn't believe in God, 30% said yes, and 20% said they believe there to be some sort of spirit or life force.

As for gender and education:

57% of women with high education believe in God
37% of men with high education believe in God
53% of women with low education believe in God
34% of men with low education believe in God

Finally, the poll was conducted on 685 people in January this year, with 45% of them from Nøtterøy and 55% from Tönsberg, which are in the county of Vestfold located next to the capital Oslo. It also said that Norwegians are generally pretty shy about religion, which agrees with this article from the New York Times in February on religion in Scandinavia and how they as a whole don't like to talk about religion as much as in North America for example.

You can see a lot of this online too such as in this thread about ancient Norse religion and whether it still has meaning for people today. One Christian poster there for example writes about how he's found similarities between the two such as how Odin hung on Yggdrasil and was wounded with a spear, Ask and Embla resemble Adam and Eve, the Serpent of Midgard resembles the leviathan from the Bible, etc. I won't go into detail about what everyone writes in the thread but it's interesting to read the online religious discussions in Norwegian which are usually quite tame.


Anonymous said...

Sellamat kyar Dave!
There are several theories to explain similarities between religious creeds (besides simple loans, f.i. the late Nordic religion may have been influenced by Christian missionaries).
- Common origin of (all?) religion:
- Psychoanalytic background of the Human being:
"Symbole der Wandlung" by C.G.Jung (terrific!, and Jung might have been fond of your blog, since he tolks a lot about Mithra, your protecting deity, which influenced a lot Christianism).
"Le symbolisme dans la mythologie grecque" by the austrian-born Paul Diel, which was Einstein's favorite psychologist. Its explanations extend beyond the greek mythology. It is the book that lies on my bedside table (er.. photocopies, it is very hard to find the book, but I could borrow it at Strasbourg and photocopy it fully at Nancy...)


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