Secularisation And Religion

Looking at the aspects of secularisations, for and against it

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What Is Secularisation

  • Secularisation is the decline of the role and influence of religion in today's society.
  • This could be proved by several factors;
    • Pluralism
    • Official Statistics
    • Disengagement
    • Structural Differentiation
    • Rationalisation
  • Mainly this could be due to things such as globalisation with the increase in scientific technology and blurred boarders.
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Official Statistics

  • Official statistics on religion are collected from various official surveys. Documents such as the census and lifestyle questionnaires show the current importance of religion in today's society.
  • Evidence Secularisation IS occurring;
    • Brierley - A significant decline in traditional church membership is down by a 1/3. Even Weddings and Baptism attendance is down.
    • Bruce - By 2030 religion will of died out in the UK.
  • Evidence Secularisation IS'NT occurring;
    • Statistics only show attendance of traditional religion is declining.
    • Stark - He believes in the past people were forced to go to church but nowadays people have more choice as opposed to being forced to believe.
    • There is a large increase in NRM's. Religion is transforming not declining.
    • Grace Davies - Believing not Belonging. The idea that we may not attend any more but we do believe.
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  • Disengagement is the separation of the church from the state. In the middle ages the church ruled society and government but nowadays it has little influence.
  • Evidence secularisation IS occurring;
    • Martin - The welfare state now takes care of us, opposed to the church.
    • During times of upheaval people turn to the state and non - religious organisations such as NSPCC and Childline.
    • The Pope use to be far more influential.
  • Evidence Secularisation Isn't occurring;
    • Functionalism argue that religion has a much more specialist role in society such as controlling morals.
    • Casanova - Religion has shifted from being part of an individuals life to being an influence over society as a whole.
    • Tony Blair was heavily influenced by religion.
    • The Queen is head of CofE and the state,,
    • We swear oath on the Bible in court.
    • Pressure groups can be very influential.
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