Religion, Renewal and Choice

Little mindmap based on the Rob Webb chapter of the same name

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  • Religion, renewal and choice
    • Believing without belonging
      • Grace Davie (2007)- argues against secularisation. Instead thinks that people believe but don't practice
        • Vicarious Religion- where a small number of prof clergy practise religion on behalf of small number of people
        • Evidence- Bibby (1993)-  25% canadians attended church regularly, 80% said they were religious
          • Vicarious Religion- where a small number of prof clergy practise religion on behalf of small number of people
      • Criticism- Voas and Crockett (2005)- evidence from surveys show attendance AND belief= declining
    • Spiritual Shopping
      • Hervieu- Leger (2000;2006)
        • Dramatic decline in institutional religion in Eurtope, 'cultural amnesia'- we don't inherit fixed religious identity so we choose
          • Two new religious movements- Pilgrims (follow path for self discovery) and Converts (join groups with strong sense of belonging)
    • Lyon- 'Jesus in Disneyland'
      • Traditional religion = given way to a variety of new religious forms
        • Globalisation= movement of ideas, ideas= disembedded. Harvest Day Crusade at Disneyland- boundaries blurred. Rel= de-institutionalised
        • Postmodern society= growth of consumerism. Means we pick and mix elements of religion to find identity. Means religion isn't abandoned but loss of faith in 'meta- narratives'
        • Lyon sees this as 're-enchantment', proof against secularisation, form has just changed
        • BUT PMists see growth of electronic rel media as evidence against secularisation
    • Religious Market Theory
      • Stark and Bainbridge (1985)- secularisation theory is eurocentric and distorted
      • RMT is based on a) people are naturally religious so demand remains constant and b) it's human nature to seek reward and weigh up costs and benefits
      • Religion thrives in the US because there's never been a religious monopoly unlike europe where big rel orgs led to decline in others- lack of supply/ Biggest factor in secularisation
      • Criticisms- Bruce- says S&B misinterpreted theory. Norris& Inglehart- study found countries with dominant church practise more, contradicts them
    • Existential Security Threat
      • Norris and Inglehart- reasons for variations in religiosity between countries= differing degrees of 'existential secularity'- the feeling that survival is secure enough to be taken for granted
        • Poor countries- high level of insecurity- high level of religion
        • Rich countries- secure- less need for religion
      • Europe vs America- Western Europe becoming secular because it's secure, US isn't because it's 'unequal'
      • EVIDENCE- Gill & Lundegaarde- the more a country spends on social welfare, the lower the level of rel participation
      • BUT Vasquez (2007) says they don't examine individual definitions of 'existential security' and they only see religion as negative response to deprivation


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