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Terms in this set (15)
Secularisation: where religion loses social significance as a result of society modernising. Involves effect on religious thinking.
Disagreement about extent to which sig and status of religion and practice have both declined in contemporary society.
Others emphasise the ever present significance of religious beliefs and practices despite changes brought about in the transition to late modernity e.g. religious pluralism. The debate may lead sociologists to question the concept of secularisation in its efforts to explain religiosity in society.
Soc interested in dispersion of secularisation and whether level in Europe is mirrored globally.
Sec theorists: lower rates in formal religious practice. e.g. church attendance.
Century: dropped in Europe. C of E and RC chruch sig decrease in attendance from years 1975-95.
Others argue it only accounts for attendance on Sundays whereas modernity results in a seven day a week church. Also increase in UK of Christian organisations and world faiths.
Greater independent worship over church going. Sec theorists think demonstrates passive involvement in religion coupled w avoidance of collective worship.
Bellah: modernity only encourages more individual forms of worship- people still believe but there is less pressure to worship collectively
Religion in rapid state of decline over last century. Church attendance dropped a lot as well as sunday school attendance.
Only older people value religion/younger people uninterested.
Religion declining to point of no return. Contrasts 'Age of faith' in Middle Ages where institutions influential over Europe. Churches physically and ideologically powerful.
Fragmented social life (modernisation)-> no influence on health care, wealth.
People no longer pressured to got to church- choice. Some may embrace scientific exps instead.
Disputes age of faith. Religiosity overstated and historical records show that people were indifferent towards it e.g. clerics were unsure about a lot of Christian theology. Church attenders were indifferent and often behaved badly e.g. buying and selling. Religious participation could therefore not have declined as it was never that popular anyway. Far from floundering in modernity, it persists and even flourished in the US with trebled church attendance. People still believe in religion yet no longer express this through church attendance.
Personal religiosity is constant despite decline of participation and institutions.
Believing w/out belonging:religious/spiritual beliefs without belonging to an institution.
Religion itself remains, just notcommitment to collective worship.
In 1991, the British Social Attitudes Survey found that 75% of the adult population had some sort of religious belief in name only, demonstrating how belief can flourish outside organised religion.
Public reactions to events e.g. the death of Princess Diana is an example of personal religiosity. Existential questions such as 'why did it happen?' and 'How could a God let this happen?'
Shrines-Althorp. Diana....symbolises conventional and non-conventional religiosity.
Less powerful in modern society-church attendance and the unquestioning acceptance of Christian teaching.
Extent of religious plurality reflects modern life. Encouraged to seek answers and solutions and progress in life. When our exp falls short of our exps, we turn to religion. As a result, religion is changing to fit in with modern life and is reorganising but not declining. This is linked to the increase in supportive emotional forms of Christianity e.g. Pentecostalism as well as religions that give a firm indication of identity.
Important enough to cause conflict e.g. Northern Ireland, 9/11.
Modernisation does not inevitably lead to purely privatised religion, it is just a historical option. Places such as India still have strong religious traditions.
Ethnocentric to assume that other countries will experience secularisation in the same way as Europe.
US bucks the Europe sec trend! Disestablishment clause in the US constitution has freed the US from domination of any single religion, it remains very religious. Perhaps the lack of imposition from above results in a plurality of religiosity and a subsequent religious economy resulting in more participants due to an expanded base of participants.
Beck found that paradoxically, the decline of religion has led to renewed interest in religion, it still remaining a high profile political issue. It has become more fluid and flexible and can compete in the marketplace of modernity. Individualisation allows for people to choose a 'god of one's own' while
cosmopolitanism detaches religion from specific territories and nations, making it part of a pluralistic world.
Religion in the global world-
Bit more Davie
To determine the relevance of religion to the modern world, sociologists have to look at secularisation globally.
Davie: sec in modern society only applies to religion in Europe, which is an 'exceptional case'. Sec debate must consider the trends and development of faith worldwide. Evidence suggests it is inappropriate to assume that the experience of secularisation is universal.
Berger retracted his position as a secualrisation theorist as he presents the globalisation of communication to have led to a greater appreciation of a plurality of beliefs and traditions. He argues that the world today with some exceptions is still as furiously religious as ever and in some places, more than ever.
An example of this is Brazil. Protestantism has increased as a result of the influence of American missionaries on people in Shanty towns with very poor areas in close proximity to affluent areas. The missionaries preached that living by strict protestant values such as hard work and thrift would change their lives.
Micklethwait and Wooldrige
Modernity and religion go hand in hand. The prophets of secularisation must understand religion is driven by competition and choice just like market capitalism. Faith positions are chosen and are less forced by institutions.
Inglehart and Norris
religion is still popular in vulnerable places e.g. poor countries and failed states that face threats to survival. Existential security theory proposed that religiosity gives them comfort in relation to physical, societal and personal risks.
Significant changes in religiosity have occurred in the modern world. People are not bound to express beliefs in traditional forms of organised religion.
It is important to distinguish between practise and belief if we are to understand the form of religiosity in modern society.
Formal involvement may be secularised, while belief may remain important despite expression in a range of alternative locations. We may therefore have to redefine out understanding of expression or religiosity in contemporary society.
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