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  • Created by: Tamara
  • Created on: 10-01-13 13:52
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  • Secularisation
    • Secularisation in Britain
      • Crockett (1998) In1851 40% of the population attended church on a sunday. This was then seen in the 19th Century as the "golden age of religiousity
      • Wilson argues that western socities have been undergoing a long process of secularisation. Therefore religious beliefs, institutions lose their significance
      • Only 6.3% of the adult population now attend church regulary. Sunday school attendence, baptisms and marriage have all decreased. The english church census claims that large organisations attendence is declining (COE) but smaller ones have increased.
      • Religious beliefs today: 60 years of attitudes surveys show that many more people believe than actually go to church. Religious beliefs is declining along with attendance and membership. Gill et al found in 100 national surveys that belief in a God or thw afterlife is decling.
      • Major changes in the UK such as: attendence is decllining, religiuos diversity and an increase in the average church goer.
      • Religious institutions today: Bruce agrues with Wilson that secularisation shows that there has been a steady decline. Such as the number of clergy has fallen from 45,000 in 1900 to 34,000 un 2000. The influence of relgion is falling from affecting every aspect of someones life to a more privite sphere of individual and family.
      • The state has taken over many functions that once was perfomred by the church. However such as in faith schools you still have to follow the sates regulations.
    • Explanations of Secularisation:
      • Linked to major social changes such as industralisation and its effects, modernisation and social and religious diversity.
      • Rationalisation: This is the process where a rational way of thinging/acting replaces a religious one. Weber arugues that Western socities have been undergoing rationalisation for centuries.
      • The 16th century protestant reformation undermined the religious worldview of the middle ages replacing it with a more modern scientific outlook.
      • The medival catholic worldview saw the world as an enchanted garden in which God/ angels changed the courts of events through their supernatural powers and miracle working interventions.
      • Disenchantment: The protestant reformation bought a worldview that saw God exsisting above and outside of the world , not intervening with it. The world has become dischanted left to run to the laws of nature.
      • Events could no longer be explained as the work of unpredictable supernational forces but instead of predictable natural forces.
      • Through reason and science  humans could now discover the laws of nature and understand and predict how the world works. Religious explanations of the world are no longer needed.
      • This enables science to develop therefore giving humans more power to control nature further undermining the religious worldview.
      • Technological worldview: Bruce argues that a technologicial worldview has replaced a religious one and why things happen. Relgious worldviews only survive where a technological worldview is least effective. Such as to pray to cure an incurable illness.
      • Structural differntiation: Parsons. This occurs with industralisation and is where a specialised institution now carries out the functions that used to be preformed by one institution (church)
      • Stuctural differentiation
        • Structural differntiation: Parsons. This occurs with industralisation and is where a specialised institution now carries out the functions that used to be preformed by one institution (church)
        • Re3ligion dominated pre industrial society but now with industrilisation it has become a smaller and more specialised institutiojn.
        • Bruce agrees that religion has become spearated from wider society and privatised in the home and family. Beliefs are now a matter of personal choice and rituals and symbols have lost meaning.
        • Where religion is involved in education/ welfare it must confirm to secular controls. E.g- faith schools
      • Social and cultural diversity:
        • Wilson: In pre industrial society, local communities shared religious rituals that expressed their shared values. Industrialisation destroys these stable local communities and so destroys religious base.
        • Bruce sees industralisation creating large, impersonal, loose knit urban centres with diverse beliefs, values and life styles. This diversity undermines the believability of religion.
        • The rise of individualisim leads to a decline in community based relious belief and practice
        • Aldridge: A community does not have to have to be in a particular locality. Religion can be a shared source of identity on a worldwide scale.


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