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Topic 3: Secularization

Secularisation in Britain
1851 census: over 40% attended church
Some see the 19th Century as the golden age of religion
Attendance in church has declined
Average age of attendees has increased
Greater religious diversity

Secularisation: The process whereby religious beliefs, institutions and practices have lose social…

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Topic 3: Secularization


Protestantism saw God as nothing more than a creator
God created the world and let it run its natural course
Religion can't explain things so rational thinking replaces it

Technological world view

Technological explanations have replaced religious ones
Technology and science have only undermined religion…

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Topic 3: Secularization

Cultural defence and transition

Cultural defence: Religion provides a focal point for the defence of an identity against an
external force
Cultural transition: Religion provides support for ethnic groups such as migrants


Bruce has now changed his views and now argues that diversity actually stimulates…

Page 4

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Topic 3: Secularization

Religious diversity
Church goers are less dogmatic
Bruce: Trend towards practical relativism

Criticisms of secularisation theory
Religion is changing form
Theory is one sided
Ignores those who believe without belonging
Not universal


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