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  • Created on: 18-01-17 10:24

Wilson defined secularisation as the decline in the influence of religious beliefs, practices and institutions. 

However there is a debate between whether or not secularisation is actually happening and to what extent is it having an effect.

Evidence in favour of secularisation:

There has been in a decline in church attendence as only 10% of people attend church regularly. Also there has been a decrease in church weddings which means there may be less of a social stigma now because religious value are not as important or influencial to dictate a person's decisions. Apart from there being fewer church weddings there hs been an increase in divorce which too is in part due to secularisation which has reduced societies stigma towards divorces. This means that there has been a normalisation of divorce.

Post Modernists claim that in a post modern society there is more choice and this has resulted in detraditionalisation  where people reject the established religion. This can be due to many reasons however Post Modernists believe this is because religion is a grand narrative which has collapsed and no longer relevant in society which is why people are less religious because it does not feature or effect their everyday life. Also Post Modernists claim that society is a pick and mix society where people can pick and choose what aspects of religion they want which means the influence from religion has decreased.

Phenomenologists believe that secularisation is happening too due to rationalisation, religion alone cannot provide a shared universe of meaning whilst there is ther belief systems such as science therefore religion is not longer relevant. Weber's social action theory is supportive of Phenomonologists because he too explains that secularisation occured because of Protestantism which led to rationalisation and disenchantment. This allowed science to emerge and thrive.

Liberal Feminists say that there is less fixed gender roles as we are experiencing a march of progress which means that there is less influence from religious stereotypes because secularisation is…


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