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Topic 3 (Secularisation)

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UK: 1851 40% of adults attended chuurch on Sundays, in 2005 this figure was 6.3% (halved since 60s) = 19th century 'golden age'
Wetsern societies have been ungergoing long process of secularisation as beliefs practices and institutions have lost social significance
English church census 2006
participation in large organisations has decreased and participation in small organisations has increased
Gill et al
from 1936-1996 100 national surveys show significan decline in God/afterlife
'There is a steady unremmitting decline': religion now in the private sphere + the state has taken over many functions of the church
number of clergy: 45,000 in 1900, 34,000 in 2000: predicts ,methodist chruch will fold by 2030 and church of england will be a small voluntary organisation
Rationalisation: rational ways of thinking are replacing reliigous ones e.g. 16th century Protestant refomation undermined religious worldview replacing it with scientific rational ones.
Disenchantment: protestant reformation brought the new view that God was outside looking in, not intervening so events were now explained as predictable workings of natural forces, reason and science which undermines religion
Society is goal-focused: increased emphasis upon goals and knowledge which reduces religous imprtance
Technological wordlview: we've replaced religous explanations of why things happen, religion suffers when technology thrives
Structural differentiation: occurs with industrialisation, religion becomes a smaller more specialised institution.
beliefs are now a matter of personal choice and traditional symbols have lost meaninge.g. when religion is involved in teaching and welfare it has to conform to secular controls
In pre-industrial society local communities shared religious rituals = shared values but industrialised societies have destroyed stable communities + religious base
Industrialisation creates large,impersonal , loose-knit urban centres with diverse beliefs
criticises Bruce arguing that communities don't have to be in a particular locality as religion can be a source of identity worldwide; jewish/pentecostal often flourish in urban areas
since 16th century protestnat reformation = more variety of religious organisations which undermines 'plausibility structure'
Counter-trends against secularisation: cultural defence and cultural transition
Cultural defence
Bruce: religion provides a focus for the defence of national/ethnic groups in struglle against external forces
Cultural transition
religion provides a sense of community for ethnic groups living in a different culture
Spiritual revolution
a 'spiritual market' is growing e.g growth of self help books /'therapies'
Heelas and Woodhead
The Kendal project: found a move from the congregational domain to the hollistic milieu which resulted in subjectivisation
Congregational domain
worship in conventional churches e.g. Anglican church
Hollistic Milieu
Informal networks used by people to take part in the New Age
secularisation not as stong as it seems, moving to the new age just emphasises peole using own choice rather than following tradition. In a week in 2000, 7.9% attended church, 1.6% took part in New Age, fewer people in New Age but it's still growing
USA: in 1962 45% attended church on Sundays but this is more an expression of the USA way of life.
the USA exaggerate church attendance, Ohio claimed 83% attendance if this were true churches would be full but they're not
Secularisation from within: religion has become 'psychologised', a form of therapy
Lynd and Lynd
There is a practical relativism among US Christians, in 1924 94% of churchgoing young people agrees thet 'chirstianity is one true religion' by 1977 only 41% agreed.
Practical relativism
The acceptance of others holding different beliefs: absolutism is eroded
Todd et al
percentage of muslism world wide has increased from 12.6% in 1910 to 22.5% in 2010
Christianity has increased in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but UK attendance of orthodod, untied reformed and anglican churches has decline by 50% attendance of free churches is down by 25%
Religious pluralism
the existence of multiple faiths in society
Stong religion is being replaced by weak religion
Strong religion
Bruce: dominates lives, intense devotion
Weak religion
Bruce: tolerant of other beliefs, undemanding
Suggests a small decline in atheism worldwide-no in the UK though
'Sects are like islands in a secular sea' strong religions only survive if they separate from wider society
smaller religious movements are irrelevant to wider society, they live in isolated conditions with small membership and a short life span
Amount of disengagement is larger that amount of people joing New Religious movements BUT most influencial new religious movements have onl a few members and little influence on members' lives
Privatised morality: in postmodernity there is a choice of truth and rleigious pluralism but people still look for guidance from religious experts
Criticises Baumna: religion has remained continuously importance + how can people be individuals if they still follow religious leaders (contradiction.)
Consumption and Globalisation: tech provides better communication and greater diversity, increased globalisation = more choice; people don't accept authoritiy of one rleigion over their lives: consumer culture
People still wish to pick an appeqaling narrative e.g in Canada 75% don't attend church but of this, 80% still hold religious beliefs
Lyon: blurring the lined between religion and popular culture
Defining secularisation: decline as social sturcture (public -private) and to individuals (decline in participation)
Move from mechanical solidarity (solidarity maintained by everyone being similar) to organic solidarity (solidarity created by interdependence.)
Religion is less important as a provider of shared norms: education takes on this role