Believing without Belonging
Grace Davie (2007) argues against Secularisation! Vicarious Religion-where a small number of professional clergy practise religion on behalf of a much larger number of people, who experience at second hand...Believing without belonging-people hold relgious beliefs but don't attend church. Voas and Crockett (2005) criticise these...Surveys suggest that both church attendance and belief in God are declining-Bruce adds if people aren't willing to believe,it highlights the lack of strength of their beliefs,
Danielle Hervieu-Leger (2000-2006) continues the theme of personal choice and believing without belonging.
Cultural Amnesia-Nowadays,more and more parents are less likely to teach their children about Religion...Children have become ignorant of traditional Religion.
Spiritual Shoppers-More will and choice in what to believe (Pilgrims-individual path in a search of self discovery,Converts-religious groups that offer a strong sense of belonging.
Lyon: 'Jesus in Disneyland'
Postmodernist David Lyon argues traditional religion is giving way to a variety of new religious forms-factors include:
- Globalisation-Growing interconnectedness of societies
- The increased importance of the media
- Growth of consumerism-We can pick and mix elements of different faiths to suit our tastes and make them part of our identity.
One effect of having a great variety of religious products to choose from is a loss in 'meta-narratives'-theories or worldviews that claim to have the absolute truth. Criticisms-Post modernists claim that the growth of religious media and the electronic church is evidence against secularisation.
Religious Market Theory
Main Advocates=Stark and Bainbridge (1985) Eurocentric-focuses on the decline of religion in Europe and fails to explain its continuing vitality in America and elsewhere. Religious Market Theory based on two assumptions:
- People are naturally religious and religion meets human needs. Therefore the overall demand for religion remains constant.
- It is human nature to seek rewards and avoid costs. When people make choices, they weigh up the costs and benefits of the different options available.
Religion provides Compensators-Religion promises life after death!
Stark and Bainbridge argue that competition leads to improvements in the quality of the religious 'goods'on offer.
America VS Europe
Stark and Bainbridge believe that religion thrives in the USA because there has never been a religious monopoly. Religious Monopoly-One church with no competition. The growth of a healthy religious market where religions grow or decline has been encouraged.
The situation in Europe is entirely different-Most European countries have been dominated by a single state Church which had a religious monopoly I.E. Church of England...competition has been held back which has led to a decline in choice and free will.
Main Factor influencing the level of religious participation is the supply!
Supply-led religion = the demand for religion is greatly influenced by the quality and variety religion on offer and the extent to which it responds to people's needs.
Finke (1997) - lifting of restrictions on Asian immigration allowed for asian religions to become more popular in the USA e.g. Hare Krishna and Transcendental Mediation.
Sociologists reject the religious Market Theory...
The existential theory relates to those from different societies-This theory is on the basis that survival is garuanteed.Those who live in a poor society will resort to religion more than those that come from a rich society.