Flashcards in Explanations Of Secularisation Deck (27)
How has modernisation led to secularisation?
Tradition has been replaced with rational and scientific ways of thinking that tend to undermine religion
How does Max Weber see rationalisation as an explanation for secularisation?
He argues that rational ways of thinking and acting have come to replace religious ones
For Weber, how did the medieval Catholic worldview that dominated Europe see the world?
They saw it as an 'enchanted, or magical garden' in which God and other spiritual beings and forces were active, changing the course of events with their supernatural powers and miraculous interventions in it
How did the Protestant reformation change the worldview?
Instead of the interventionist God of medieval Catholicism, Protestantism saw God as transcendent - existing above and beyond, or outside this world. He created the world, but does not intervene in it
What does the Protestant idea of disenchantment mean?
It squeezes out magical and religious ways of thinking and starts off the rationalisation process that leads to the dominance of the rational mode of thought
What does disenchantment allow to happen?
It allows science to thrive and provide the basis for technological advances that give humans more and more power to control nature which undermines the religious worldview
What does Bruce argue about the growth of a technological worldview?
He argues that it has largely replaced religious or supernatural explanations of why things happen
Who defines structural differentiation as a process of specialisation that occurs with the development of industrial society?
What is structural differentiation?
Separate, specialised institutions develop to carry out functions that were previously performed by a single institution
According to Parsons, how has structural differentiation led to the disengagement of religion?
It's functions are transferred to other institutions such as the state and it becomes disconnected from wider society
According to Bruce, what has religion become?
Privatised - confined to the private sphere of the home and family
What has privatisation meant for religion?
Religious beliefs are now largely a matter of personal choice and religious institutions have lost much of their influence on wider society so traditional rituals and symbols have lost meaning
How does Wilson argue that the move from pre-industrial to industrial society has caused a change in religion?
He argues that in pre-industrial communities, shared values were expressed through collective religious rituals that integrated individuals and regulated their behaviour, however, an industrial society there has been a decline in community which contributes to a decline in religion
How does Bruce see industrialisation as a reason for secularisation?
He argues that it undermines the consensus of religious beliefs that hold small rural communities together, giving way to large loose-knit urban communities with diverse beliefs and values
How does Aldridge criticise the idea that the decline of community causes a decline in religion?
He argues that some religious communities are 'imagined communities' that interact through the use of global media
According to Berger, what is another cause of secularisation?
The trend towards religious diversity where instead of there being only one religious organisation and only one interpretation of the faith, there are many
Why were people in the Middle Ages more religious in relation to religious diversity?
The Catholic Church held an absolute monopoly over religious beliefs so everyone lived under a single sacred canopy or set of beliefs shared by all
What is the consequence of the increase in the number and variety of religious organisations?
Society is no longer unified under the single sacred canopy provided by one church, instead, religious diversity creates a plurality of life worlds, where people's perceptions of the world vary and where there are different interpretations of the truth
What does Berger argue to be the consequence of the increased diversity of religious beliefs?
He argues that it creates a crisis of credibility for religion and the diversity undermines religions plausibility structure - the reasons people find it believable
What two counter-trends does Bruce identify that seem to go against the secularisation theory?
Cultural defence and cultural transmission
What is cultural defence?
Where religion provides a focal point for the defence of national, ethnic, local or group identity in a struggle against an external force such as a hostile foreign power e.g communism
What is cultural transition?
Where religion provides support and a sense of community for ethnic groups such as migrants to a different country and culture
Why does Bruce argue that religion survives in cultural defence and cultural transitions?
Because it is a focus group for identity and performs functions other than relating individuals to the supernatural
How does Berger criticise his own views?
He argues that diversity and choice actually stimulates interest and participation in religion
What do some sociologists argue is taking place in which traditional Christianity is giving way to 'holistic spirituality' or New Age beliefs and practices that emphasise personal development and subjective experience?
A spiritual revolution
Increased interest in spirituality has led to the growth of what?
A 'spiritual market'