Berger: Religious diversity

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  • Berger: Religious diversity
    • A cause of secularisation is the trend towards religious diversity where instead of there being only one religious organisation and only one interpretation of the faith, there are many.
    • In the middle ages, the Catholic Church  held an absolute monopoly (it had no competition).
      • Everyone lived under a "single, sacred canopy," (a set of beliefs shared by all).
      • Gave beliefs greater plausibility because they had no challengers and the Church's version of the truth was unquestioned.
    • Religious diversity was created by the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the number and variety of religious organisations has continued to grow.
      • Churches and sects broke away from the Catholic church.
    • The number and variety of religious organisations has continued to grow, each with a different version of the truth.
      • No church can now claim a religious monopoly of truth.
    • Society is no longer unified under the single, sacred canopy provided by one church.
    • Creates a "plurality of life worlds," (where people's perceptions of the world vary and where there are different interpretations of the truth).
      • Creates a crisis of credibility for religion.
    • Undermines religions "Plausibility structure," (the reasons why people find it believable. When there are alternative versions of religion to choose between, people are likely to question  all of them and this erodes the absolute certainties of traditional religion.
    • Religious beliefs are now relative rather than absolute.
    • Bruce: Most important cause of Secularisation
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