Secularisation summary

A summary of secularisation, ideas of what to include in an essay. Text is enlarged so could be used as a revision poster.

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  • Created on: 06-06-14 15:02
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Secularisation in Britain- Crockett in 1851 40% of
Britain went to church on Sundays, 19th century is said to be `golden age
of religiosity'. Since then less people go to church, the ones who do are
older, fewer baptisms and weddings, more diversity. Wilson- due to
secularisation. 2005- 6.3% go church on Sundays and likely to fall to 4.7%
by 2015. Sunday school attendance declined.1971 3/5 of weddings in
church, now only 1/3. Gill et al survey in 1950 23% said they had no
belief but by 1996 this was 43%. Religious institutions loss of
significance, state now performs some of its functions like education,
clergy fell from 45,000 in 1900 to 34,000 in 2000 when population had
Explanations of Secularisation- Weber-
rationalisation, protestant reformation began undermining the religious
world view, led to disenchantment (using rationalisation theories
opposed to religious and magical.) as well as a technological worldview-
looking for technological explanations rather than supernatural ones eg.
When a plane crashes. Parsons- structural differentiation has led to the
disengagement of religion. Bruce- religion has become more privatised
so institutions and symbols have lost belief and meaning. Bruce-
industrialisation undermined religious beliefs as got rid of small close knit
rural communities and brought about diversity. Diversity means
plausibility of beliefs is constantly undermined, resulting in the decline.
However religion can be an identity on a world wide scale eg. Jewish,
Hindu and religious groups often flourish in urban areas. Berger- diversity
is a cause of secularisation because in the middle ages the catholic
church had no competition was a sacred canopy. The reformation
brought about a plurality of life worlds and diversity undermines
plausibility structure. Bruce- cultural defence when a local group are
against an external struggle eg. Poland and communism. Cultural
transition is when religion provides support for ethnic minority groups.
Bruce- religion survives as it is a focus for group identity therefore it
needs another function other than the supernatural to survive. Eg. After

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Poland escaped communism religion declined.
However Berger changed his mind and said diversity and choice
stimulate involvement in religion. Beckford- diversity leading to people
abandoning their beliefs isnt inevitable.Heelas and Woodhead- Kendall
Secularisation in America-Wilson 1962-45% of
americans went to church on Sundays but thus was to do with the way of
life and religion had become superficial. Bruce- a poll on church
attendance showed 40% went yet Hadaway found that this figure didn't
match the churches statistics.…read more


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