File Name: steve bruce religion and modernization .zip
Largely as a result of inadvertent consequences of modernization rather than the deliberate activity of avowed secularists religion has lost power, prestige, and popularity. Science and technology have reduced the importan
In sociology , secularization or secularisation  is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis expresses the idea that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization , religious authority diminishes in all aspects of social life and governance.
As a second meaning, the term "secularization" may also occur in the context of the lifting of monastic restrictions from a member of the clergy. Secularization, in the main, sociological meaning of the term, involves the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance.
As a result of secularization the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted. In secularized societies faith lacks cultural authority, and religious organizations have little social power. Secularization has many levels of meaning, both as a theory and as a historical process.
Study of this process seeks to determine the manner in which, or extent to which religious creeds , practices and institutions are losing social significance. Some theorists argue that the secularization of modern civilization partly results from our inability to adapt broad ethical and spiritual needs of mankind to the increasingly fast advance of the physical sciences.
Smith believes that intellectuals have an inherent tendency to be hostile to their native cultures, causing them to embrace secularism. The term "secularization" also has additional meanings, primarily historical and religious.
The 19th-century Kulturkampf in Germany and Switzerland and similar events in many other countries also were expressions of secularization. Still another form of secularization refers to the act of Prince-Bishops or holders of a position in a Monastic or Military Order - holding a combined religious and secular authority under the Catholic Church - who broke away and made themselves into completely secular typically, Protestant hereditary rulers.
For example, Gotthard Kettler — , the last Master of the Livonian Order , converted to Lutheranism , secularised and took to himself the lands of Semigallia and Courland which he had held on behalf of the order - which enabled him to marry and leave to his descendants the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia.
This transformation accompanied major social factors: economic prosperity, youth rebelling against the rules and conventions of society, sexual revolution , women's liberation , radical theology, and radical politics. Secularization is sometimes credited both to the cultural shifts in society following the emergence of rationality and the development of science as a substitute for superstition — Max Weber called this process the "disenchantment of the world"—and to the changes made by religious institutions to compensate.
At the most basic stages, this begins with a slow transition from oral traditions to a writing culture that diffuses knowledge. This first reduces the authority of clerics as the custodians of revealed knowledge. The shift of responsibility for education from the family and community to the state has had two consequences:. A major issue in the study of secularization is the extent to which certain trends such as decreased attendance at places of worship indicate a decrease in religiosity or simply a privatization of religious belief, where religious beliefs no longer play a dominant role in public life or in other aspects of decision making.
John Sommerville outlined six uses of the term secularization in the scientific literature. The first five are more along the lines of 'definitions' while the sixth is more of a 'clarification of use': . Abdel Wahab Elmessiri outlined two meanings of the term secularization:. As studied by sociologists, one of the major themes of secularization is that of "differentiation"—i. European sociology, influenced by anthropology , was interested in the process of change from the so-called primitive societies to increasingly advanced societies.
In the United States, the emphasis was initially on change as an aspect of progress, but Talcott Parsons refocused on society as a system immersed in a constant process of increased differentiation, which he saw as a process in which new institutions take over the tasks necessary in a society to guarantee its survival as the original monolithic institutions break up. This is a devolution from single, less differentiated institutions to an increasingly differentiated subset of institutions.
Following Parsons, this concept of differentiation has been widely applied. Casanova also describes this as the theory of "privatization" of religion, which he partially criticizes. At present, secularization as understood in the West is being debated in the sociology of religion.
In his works Legitimacy of the Modern Age and The Genesis of the Copernican World , Hans Blumenberg has rejected the idea of a historical continuity — fundamental to the so-called 'theorem of secularization'; the Modern age in his view represents an independent epoch opposed to Antiquity and the Middle Ages by a rehabilitation of human curiosity in reaction to theological absolutism. Charles Taylor in "A Secular Age" challenges what he calls 'the subtraction thesis' — that science leads to religion being subtracted from more and more areas of life.
Proponents of "secularization theory" demonstrate widespread declines in the prevalence of religious belief throughout the West, particularly in Europe. Demerath have countered by introducing the idea of neo-secularization, which broadens the definition of secularization to include the decline of religious authority and its ability to influence society. In other words, rather than using the proportion of irreligious apostates as the sole measure of secularity, neo-secularization argues that individuals increasingly look outside of religion for authoritative positions.
Neo-secularizationists would argue that religion has diminishing authority on issues such as birth control , and argue that religion's authority is declining and secularization is taking place even if religious affiliation may not be declining in the United States a debate still taking place. Finally, some claim that demographic forces offset the process of secularization, and may do so to such an extent that individuals can consistently drift away from religion even as society becomes more religious.
This is especially the case in societies like Israel with the ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionists where committed religious groups have several times the birth rate of seculars. The religious fertility effect operates to a greater or lesser extent in all countries, and is amplified in the West by religious immigration.
For instance, even as native whites became more secular, London , England, has become more religious in the past 25 years as religious immigrants and their descendants have increased their share of the population.
Christian Smith examined the secularization of American public life between and He noted that in a Protestant establishment thoroughly dominated American culture and its public institutions. By the turn of the 20th century, however, positivism had displaced the Baconian method which had hitherto bolstered natural theology and higher education had been thoroughly secularized.
In the s "legal realism" gained prominence, de-emphasizing the religious basis for law. That same decade publishing houses emerged that were independent of the Protestant establishment.
During the s secularization extended into popular culture and mass public education ceased to be under Protestant cultural influence. Although the general public was still highly religious during this time period, by the old Protestant establishment was in "shambles".
Key to understanding the secularization, Smith argues, was the rise of an elite intellectual class skeptical of religious orthodoxies and influenced by the European Enlightenment tradition. They consciously sought to displace a Protestant establishment they saw as standing in their way.
Annual Gallup polls from through showed that the fraction of American who did not identify with any particular religion steadily rose from At the same time, the fraction of Americans identifying as Christians sank from In Britain, secularization came much later than in most of Western Europe. It began in the s as part of a much larger social and cultural revolution. Until then the postwar years had seen a revival of religiosity in Britain. Sponsorship by royalty, aristocracy, and influential local gentry provided an important support-system for organized religion.
In coal-mining districts, local collieries typically funded local chapels, but that ended [ when? This allowed secularizing forces to gain strength. India , post-independence, has seen the emergence of an assertive secular state. Hinduism , which is the dominant way of life in India , has been described as a 'culture and civilisation of ancient origin' that is 'intrinsically secular'.
One traditional view of Chinese culture sees the teachings of Confucianism - influential over many centuries - as basically secular. Chang Pao-min summarises perceived historical consequences of very early secularization in China:.
The early secularization of Chinese society, which must be recognized as a sign of modernity [ All this simply means that the pursuit of wealth or power or simply the competition for survival can be and often has been ruthless without any sense of restraint. It also rendered Chinese society much more egalitarian than Western Europe and Japan.
Many countries in the Arab world show signs of increasing secularization. In Lebanon and Morocco , the number of people listening to daily recitals of the Quran fell by half from to High living costs delay marriage and, as a consequence, seem to encourage pre-marital sex.
Even in countries in which secularization is growing, there are backlashes. For instance, the president of Egypt, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi , has banned hundreds of newspapers and websites who may provoke opposition. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values.
For other uses, see Secularization church property , Secularity , Secularism , and Secular disambiguation. See also: Secularism in India. Main article: Islam and secularism. Society portal. Desacralization of knowledge Laicism Secular state Secularism Sociology of religion Theory of religious economy Rational choice theory of religion The Enlightenment Mexican secularization act of Desecularization Death of God Theology. Sacred and Secular. Religion and Politics Worldwide.
Cambridge University Press. International Journal of Sociology. Retrieved 2 May — via The Free Dictionary. Public Religions in the Modern World. University of Chicago Press, pg.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37 2 Ashgate Publishing Company, p. University of Chicago Press, p. London: Westminster Press. God is Dead: Secularization in the West. London: Profile Books. Also see www. Online First 2 : — Drifting Down, but Still High". Retrieved The Economist. Archived from the original on The Guardian. Philosophy East and West.
The American Interest. There can be no doubt that Confucianism has been a powerful cultural influence throughout East Asia, providing social and political values not only in China, but in Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
In recent decades there has developed a veritable cottage industry of commentary, criticism and reiteration of so-called secularization theory. I will not delve here into the details of what has been a storm in the teapot of the sociology of religion. Let me just restate what, when all is said and done, is the basic proposition of the theory—namely, that modernity necessarily brings about a decline of religion. I think that this proposition has been empirically falsified. It may be useful to summarize the steps which led me to this conclusion—not because my trajectory is unusual, but precisely because it is not unusual at all: Most observers have come to the same conclusion. In my early years of my career I took the secularization proposition to be evidently correct, because just about everyone else in the field did so and because it seemed a coherent explanation of the religious scene. I resorted to this view in my early publications, including the one that made me known as a sociologist of religion, The Sacred Canopy
What emerges? An answer more nuanced than the early assertions or denials which stimulated the debate, but still clear enough to be a verdict on which I think most juries would be likely to agree. Bruce has assembled an interesting and creative mix of sociologists and social historians. Bruce has assembled an interesting and creative mix of sociologists and social historians These central essays are stimulating and informative. It engages a number of important theoretical questions and presents a wealth of empirical data Unlike most edited volumes, this one is a coherent whole
PDF | On Apr 1, , Fred Kniss published Book Review:Religion and and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis Steve Bruce | Find.
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In sociology , secularization or secularisation  is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis expresses the idea that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization , religious authority diminishes in all aspects of social life and governance. As a second meaning, the term "secularization" may also occur in the context of the lifting of monastic restrictions from a member of the clergy. Secularization, in the main, sociological meaning of the term, involves the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance. As a result of secularization the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted.
In most of this discussion, secularization is attributed almost exclusively to socio-economic change, without significant reference to the state, to ideas, or to political movements.
Cambridge Papers present is a non-profit making quarterly publication that aims to make clear the relevance of biblical teaching to a range of contemporary issues, and equips Christians to respond to the ideas which are shaping our society. It has long been believed that secularisation is the inevitable by-product of Modernisation, and that the rise of modern science, pluralism, and consumerism is sure to usher in the decline of religion. It has boosted the self-confidence of generations of non-believers and left believers feeling doomed and outdated. However, in recent years, sociologists of religion have become increasingly sceptical about traditional secularisation theory. This paper explains why this is so, and argues that Christians should not succumb to cultural pessimism.
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