Overview of postmodern perspective
- Change from modern to post modern society has had a huge impact on religious beliefs
- Previously, born into religion and accepted what was taught in this
- However, modern society has people becoming disillusioned with metanarratives of major religions and resulted in secularisation
- Postmodernists argue that new age religions are growing as people still want something in their spiritual lives.
- Therefore, not declining but changing form to fit postmodern society
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Hervieu-Lerger: cultural amnesia
- Religion previously handed down from family, school and sunday schools so involved with childrens primary socialisation
- Tradition has broken down
- Children now less likely to gain religious identity from their family, so they know less about major religions leading to overall declining
- Referred to as 'cultural amnesia'
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Hervieu-Lerger: consumer choice
- An individual will join a religion based on what questions can be effectively answered by their beliefs (is the big bang a sutible answer to explain our very nature of existance)
- People no longer follow a religion without question or see religion as an absolute truth.
- Religion therefore now a matter of 'consumer choice'
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David Lyon: Globalisation and religion
- Religious television has taken religion out of context as people are no longer required to go to church to worship, rather they can do so at home.
- People can now also gain from religions around the world, involving eastern mystical religions which were unknown to British people until recent years
- Because of this, the UK is going through 're-enchantment' (a religious revival due to globalisation)
- Evidence against secularuisation
- Traditional religion has declined, but spirituality is still important to many people, and therefore religion is just taking a different form
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David Lyon: Sphere of consumption
- religion has moved into the 'sphere of consumption'
- it is now regarded as just another consumer item which we make an informed decision about: research around the product, why do you need this item, what are other reviews, what other brands make this product (similiar to how christianity is made up of numerous different churches with baptist, methodist and Catholic)
- Bits and pieces of different faiths are added together to make the ultimate assortment of beliefs
- Allows people to show faith and spirituality outisde of traditional churches
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Bruce (2002): Impact of spiritual shoppers
- The impact of spiritual shoppers is exaggerated by postmodernists
- Because new age movements were not as powerful in the past
- Also argues that religion in the media is not the same because people watch programmes that confirm their beliefs rather than make new converts.
- Therefore, 'new religion is 'weak' as it doesnt involve much committment or passion
- Provides evidence for secularisation rather than 're-enchantment'
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