PostModernity and Religion
Believing without belonging
Grace Davie argues against secularisation theory. She believes that religion is not declining but taking a different approach, a more privatised approach.
The attendance level of church has declined, however she believes this due to personal choice rather than it being an obligation.
As a result, she believes we now have believing without belonging meaning where people hold religious beliefs but don't go to church, therefore traditional religion may have declined but a new form of religion has formed.
Grace Davie also notes a trend towards vicarious religion - where a small number of professional clergy practise religion on behalf of a much larger number of people, who then experience it second hand. This is found in mostly Britain and Northern Europe.
Despite low levels of attendance, many people still use the church for rituals that mark a change of status such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.
This was also found in a Canadian Survey - 25% of Canadians attended church regularly. However 80% said they had religious beliefs and turned to religion for rites of passage.
Davie therefore compares vicarious religion to tip of an iceburg as sees it as evidence of believing without belonging. She believes it appears to be a small commitment but religion is a wider commitment. This can be seen when people are drawn to church at times of tragedy, they believe it provides ritual and support.