Religion,renewel and choice

The cards I am about to create will no doubt enhance my understanding of religion,renewel and choice. By selecting key aspects of such a topic,I will be able to focus my revision on the most significant points relevant to the question of course :-)

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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, 

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Spiritual Shopping

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.

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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
  • Communications
  • 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.








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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.



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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!


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Supply-led religion

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.

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Existential Theory

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.

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Alan Cook

This is mint

Mark Ramsay

This was so helpful, you must be a child genius, ps. I love your hair

Alan Cook

Thanks Mark Ramsay :-) I'm almost certain you'll pass your exam with flying colours providing you have a teacher that will support all your needs


this is really colourful

Alan Cook

Thanks Tiffany I love your fur! P.S for all you sociologists out there...MARK RAMSAY PASSED HIS EXAM!

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