Is there an inexorable trend toward secularization in the West as younger generations in nations from the U.S. to Switzerland are less likely to affiliate with organized religion? Or does longstanding evidence that people become more religious as they age indicate that secularization trends may reverse in rapidly aging societies of high-income countries?
It is a difficult question for social scientists to answer. In many ways it tests whether secular culture will have the same appeal in the face of the existential meaning, social support and other goods that faith has long offered individuals confronting their own mortality.
At least one group of researchers has come up with some preliminary indications.