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  • Created by: Iveta
  • Created on: 11-03-14 11:34


1) Decline of Church attendance
People are less likely to attend church i.e. the 1851 census found that over 40% of people attended church but this decline to only 6.3% in 2005. People were less likely to be baptised in the church today (1 in 7 babies) and fewer people were getting married in churches. This shows that religious beliefs are declining

AO2: However Davie claims that many people have been 'believing but not belonging'
Also, church statistics may NOT be accurate i.e. The Catholic Church delibaratly underestimates the number of people that attend church so that it avoids paying taxes to church authority. The Anglican Church overestimated statistics to avoid church closure- this makes it difficult to know whether people are securalrised or not

2) Disengagement of the Church: Bruce
He claims that the church is no longer involved in wider society and in non religious spheres i.e. education. This means that religious beliefs have become margenalised and so no longer appeal to a large number of people but a small number of people
A02: Not always the case: Vicarious religion- i.e. on the death of princess Diana and 11 year old boy diying in Liverpool, this gathered a large number of people in church- shows that many people are still religious.

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3) Growth of science
Weber argues that most people today have become rationalised in society where they are skeptic of the existance of God and no longer believe in religious beliefs, instead they turn to science. I.e. when it rains causing flood or does not rain causing drought, people turn to science of meterology rather than religion to explain this.
Similarly, Comte argues that science has taken over. pre-18th century- religious beliefs were popular, post 18th century- people became rationalised and TODAY SCIENCE is the DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM.

AO2: However, this is NOT always the case. Postmodernist Drane argues that in today's world, people have moved away from science because it has promised them a BETTER world but instead given them GLOBAL WARMING and POLLUTION.
Stark and Bainsbridge also argue that people are still religious because religion is able to answer the big questions in life such as what happens to life AFTER DEATH. Science is unable to answer these

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4) Young people secularised
only 10% of 15-25 year olds attend religious organisations so they have been secualrised. This is because...

  • Postmodernist Hervieu-Leger claims that young people are experiencing culture amsnesia
  • They find church boring and old-fashion
  •  Bruce claims that they view leisure to be more important to them 

AO2: However, ETHNIC YOUNG are religious i.e. Africans still attend Pente Costal Churches and Samad claims that young Muslims see religion as an important part of their identity.

Middle class practise religion in a DIFFERENT FORM i.e. attend the New Age  because they can afford services and they are different

Many young people have been spritually shopping or picking and mixing in society where they find an appeal in DIFFERENT FORM of religion i.e. World-rejecting Movements and World-accomodating movements

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5) Religious Pluralism

Berger argues that today there are many different types of religions and this has undermined the tradional religions and they have lost their credibility- evidence for secularisation

AO2: However, others argue that the GROWTH OF NRMS and NEW AGE is evidence AGAINTS SECUALRISATION. It just means that people are spiritually shopping and chosing to be religious in a different way. They are just experiement

There is more evidence AGAINTS SECULARISATION

  • There are a large number of ethnic people that are religious i.e. as a form of culture defence and culture transition
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