Secularisation in America

  • Created by: Anjalee
  • Created on: 26-12-12 10:48
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  • Secularisation in America
    • Wilson found that 45% of Americans attended Church on Sundays. He argued that churchgoing was an expression of the 'American way of life.' America was  a secular society because religion was superficial.
    • Bruce (2002)
      • Declining Church Attendance
        • A stable rate of self-reported attendance of about 40% has masked the actual decline. It is seen as socially desirable or normative to attend church.
      • Secularisation From Within
        • Religion has turned  psychological and into a form of therapy. The purpose of religion has changed to self-improvement. Churchgoers are now less strict.
      • Religious Diversity
        • Bruce identifies a trend towards practical relativism. Lynd and Lynd's study found that most people in 1924 agreed that Christianity is the one true religion. However in 1977 only 41% agreed.
        • The counterpart to practical relativism is the erosion of absolutism. Religious diversity undermines the assumption that our own views are absolutely true.
    • Criticisms of Secularisation theory
      • -Religion is simply changing its' form.                 -Ignores religious revivals and growth of new religions.         -Evidence ignores those who believe without belonging.       Secularisation is't universal.  -Religious Diversity increases participation because it offers choice.


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