Religion, Renewal and Choice - beliefs in society

  • Created by: maxward
  • Created on: 16-03-16 21:03

Postmodernity and religion

Some sociologists reject secularisation theory and aruge that religion is simply changing, rather than declining. 

Believing without belonging 

Grace Davie (2007) argues that religion is taking a different, more privatised form.

- Church attendance has declined but this is because attendance is now a matter of personal choice rather than an obligation.

- We now have believing without belonging - people hold religious beliefs but don't go to church.

- Davie rejects secularisation theory's assumtion that modernisation affects every society in the same way. High attendance in America but low attendance in Britain, but accompanied by believing without belonging. 

Evaluation - The British Social Attitudes surverys from 1983 to 2000 show that both church attendance and belief in God are declining. If Davie were right, we should expect to see higher levels if belief. 

Spiritual shopping

- People have lost the religion from above, so young people no longer inherit a fixed religious identity. 

- However, while traditional institutional religion has declined, religion continues through individual consumerism. People have become spiritual shoppers. Religion is now individualised - we now develop our own 'do-it-yourself' beliefs.

Hervieu-Leger argues that two new religious types are emerging:

Pilgrims follow an individual path in a search for self-discovery.

- Converts join religious groups that offer a strong sense of belonging. This re-creates a sense of community. 

Lyon: 'Jesus in Disneyland'

The relocation of religion As a result of globalisation, there is increased movement of religious ideas across national boundaries.

- The media gives us instant access to the ideas and beliefs of previously remote religions.

- Televangelism relocates religion to the interent and TV, allowing believers to express their faith wothout attending church.                    

- So religion has becomes de-institutionalised - its signs…


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