4. Religion, renewal and choice

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  • Religion, renewal and choice
    • Postmodernity and religion
      • Believing without belonging
        • DAVIE
          • Religion is not declining
          • Religion is becoming more privatised
          • There is a trend toward vicarious religion where people rely on others to practice relgion for them so that it is there for them when they need it
          • There are multiple moderntiies
          • Rejects the view that science will replace religion. Instead they will coexist
        • BIBBY
          • Only 25% of Canadians attend church regularly despite the fact that 80% said they had religios beliefs
        • EVAL: VOAS & CROCKETT: there is not more belief than belonging because levels of belief have too declined
        • EVAL: BRUCE: belief without belonging shows that lack of strength of beliefs if people are not willing to invest time in going to church
      • Spiritual shopping
          • There has been a decline in religiosity partly due to cultural amnesia where parents fail to pass on religious belief to their children
          • Religion has become more a matter of personal choice
          • Young people no longer feel their religious identity is fixed and become spiritual shoppers where they mix elements of different religoins
          • Spiritual shopping has led to 2 types of religious people: pilgrims who are on a quest for self-discovery and converts who are trying to recreate traditional religion
      • LYON: 'Jesus in Disneyland
        • Due to the media, religious symbols have become 'dis embedded'
        • These symbols are now used by individuals to recreate their own 'DIY' pick and mix religions
        • People ahve become 'religious consumers' making conscious choices about which elements of religion they find useful
        • EVAL: BRUCE: the consumerist religion that Lyon describes is weak religion and has little effect on the life of it's adherents
    • Religious market theory
        • Secularisation is Eurocentric- that is it focuses on the decline religion in Europe only
        • There is no 'golden age' of religion in the past as secularisation theory implies
        • It's not realistic to predict an end-point where everyone will be atheists
        • Religion will never completely die out as people are essentially religious
        • In the USA religion is still popular and religion instead goes through a secularisation cycle where an established religion dies out and is replaced by another
        • Religious diversity leads to people being more religious because religions are forced to compete against one another to attract 'customers'
        • Western Europe is experiencing secularisation because there is a religious monopoly and less religious diversity than in the USA
    • Existential security theory
        • People become more religious the less existential security they have
        • Poor Third-world countries are more religious as they have less existential security than richer countries
        • America is more religious than Europe due to it's less generous welfar state
        • The more a country spends on welfare, the lower the levels of religiosity
      • EVAL: VASQUEZ:
        • Norris & Inglehart only use quantitative data about income levels; they dont examine peoples own definitions of 'existential security'
        • They only see religion as a negative response to deprivation. they ignore the positive reasons people have for religious particpation


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