Wilson: "The process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose their social significance."
^ Accepted definition of secularization as it is seen as the most useful.
Comte: History passed through three stages. Each stage is characterised by a different set of intellectual beliefs.
1) Theological stage: Religious beliefs and superstitious ideas are dominant.
2) Metaphysical stage: Philosophical ideas becomes increasingly more important.
3) Positive stage: Scientific ideas and knowledge have dominance
- Scientific ideas explain: the world, dominate human thinking and account for human behaviour.
Comte predicted the process of secularization- religious ideas would have less of a role.