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How has modernisation led to secularisation?

Tradition has been replaced with rational and scientific ways of thinking that tend to undermine religion

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

Who defines structural differentiation as a process of specialisation that occurs with the development of industrial society?

Talcott Parsons

8

What is structural differentiation?

Separate, specialised institutions develop to carry out functions that were previously performed by a single institution

9

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

10

According to Bruce, what has religion become?

Privatised - confined to the private sphere of the home and family

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

What two counter-trends does Bruce identify that seem to go against the secularisation theory?

Cultural defence and cultural transmission

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

How does Berger criticise his own views?

He argues that diversity and choice actually stimulates interest and participation in religion

24

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

25

Increased interest in spirituality has led to the growth of what?

A 'spiritual market'

26

What 3 reasons do Heelas and Woodhead provide for a growing involvement in spirituality and the New Age?

New Age spirituality has increased because of a massive subjective shift in today's culture where people are interested in exploring their inner self, Traditional religions which demand duty and obedience are therefore declining and Evangelical churches are more successful because they emphasise the importance of spiritual healing and personal growth