Religion and TV- Secularisation

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What is Secularisation?
the name given to the decline in importance an influence of religion in society
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Give me a definition of Religion...
An expression in one form or another of a ens of dependance on a power outside ourself, a power of which we many speak as a spiritual or maral power. (Radcliffe-Brown)
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Give me another definion of religion...
A unified systemof beliefs and practices relative to scared things... which unite into one moral unity, called a church, all those who adhere to them (Durkheim)
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What is the first problem when examining secularisation?
the extent of religious practice can be measured, but its no significant
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What is the second problem when examining secularisation?
Evidence suggests that in contemporary society there may be little correlation between religious belief and religous practice
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What is the thrid problem when examining secularisation?
the political organisation of a socity can make it difficult to determine the true religiosity of a society
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Secularisation is generally measured in terms of 6 indicators, what are they?
1. Decline in membership of and attendance at religious institutions. 2. reduction of religious influece in society. 3. growth of rational and scientific thought 4. growth of religious pluralism 5. secularisation of religious institutions 6.massmedia
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Decline in membership of and attendance at religious institutions
increasingly fewer people in our society attend religous services. Within the Christian tradition, fewer people are baptised, confirmed and become active church members. Clergy has declined. less people get married in church, non religious ceremony.
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What are the problems with this?
getting baptised and confirmed doesnt indicate that a person will have a religous faith in later life
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give me another one
there are no commonly agreed criteria on which different Churches base their membership figures
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and another
at least some of the apparent decline in chruch attendance may simply reflect the fact that fewer people attend church twice on a Sunday
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one more?
a decline in the numbers of those taking part in public worship does not always indicate a decline in religious belief
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Reduction of religious influence in society
There was a time when religious institutions throughout the world were the source of gaining an education, obtaining medical treatment and recieving relief from poverty. Clergy now have less status and their opinions are ignored by most
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expand more on that point
Traditional religious teachings about the sanctity of marriage,the sanctity of life and the purpose of sex appears to have been largely ignored by a sociey which has facilitated easier and quicker divorce, given greater access to abortion/lesbains et
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provide the counter argument for this
influence of religion in society is far from extinguished. The british monarch remains the defender of the Fith and Head of the church of England,and bishops are involved in the house of lords debates. Many schools have religious foundations
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anything more to say?
New schools with religious foundations are being opened. Number of students in schools and college taking religious studies as a subject have increased a lot since 2000. Many religious communities remain heavily involved in social care activities
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It can also be argued that?
reducing religions political and material involvement in society may stimulate a renewed emphasis on spiritual concerns
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Growth of rational and Scientific thought..
the growth of rational thought has only come to full fruition in the last half of the 19th century. Rational thought demands prood and logical reason. This leads to a decline in acceptance of religous explanations based on the premise of God or Gods
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can you expand?
similarly as science increases understanding of the universe and human beings, the mysteries of life lessen and the needs for anything supernatural decreses. Human problems are thought to solved by rational thinking and scientific progress, nowt else
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On the other hand,
neither rationalism nor science has generally satisfied people as to the origin of the universe and the meaning of life. Many people continue to think there is more to life than the physical and material. Popularity of horoscopes etc has increased
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anything else to say?
Furthermore, science and religon, like reason and faith, arent necessarily incompatable. Many scientists and medical personnel, and some eminnt philosophers, are religious believers. E.g Sir Russell Stannard and John Polkinghorne
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Growth of religious pluralism
most modern societies are characterised by a large number of different religions, as well as none religious world views such as Humanitariansim and Marxism
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What does religious pluralism do?
Diminish the influece and authority of religion
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expand some more...
Competition reduces credibility. When a religion is not percienved to have a monopoly of truth, its is no longer able to propagate a unique, unified and universally accepted set of beliefs and ideas. Conflicting claims and teachings
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However,
Religiois beliefs persist strongly in contemporary society. Based on various polls conducted since the beginning of this century, around 2 thirds of people in Britain say they believe in God. There as been a proliferation of new religious movements
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anything else?
also increasing congregations in a significant proportion of charismatic, evangelical and fundamentalist-type churches within christianity. Between 1980 and 2000 the number of Muslims have doubled.Sociologists say that society is in a state of change
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Secularisation of religious institutions
it has been argued that during the last century there was and increasing tendancy for churches to move from thier traditional 'other world' emphasis (concern about heaven/hell and salvation) to a 'this world' emphasis.
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another point?
Traditional Chrisitan doctrines and views on moral issues have been modified to comply with the changing ethos of society. New religious movements and newly formed churches are run on a similar basis to secular businesses
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Counter argument
its debabtable whether this is a valid argument. The church was far more involved in politics in earlier times, when many archbishops were as much statesmen as preist, than it has been for the last hundred years or so.
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anything else?
There has always beeen reassessment of doctrines and moral views within Christianity and other relgions as and understanding of sacred writings, religious traditions, science and humanity has developed
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The emergence of Mass Media
In a society without mass communications and mass education, religion is able to control how people interpret life. For centuries a local area depended on its churches for its news and social activities.
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expand
even in 19th century britain most people were not influenced by the media as books and newspapers were mainly the preserve of middle and upper classes. MASS MEDIA IS NOW THE MAIN PROVIDERS OF INFO, OPINION AND EXPERIENCE
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what else?
Television in particular has become the major source of info and major leisure activity. Not only ae the news and opinions selective but also a variety of forms of entertainment are provided
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what can be substitutes for going to public worship
religious programmes shown on TV, its more comfy and can be turned off. TV programmes and books are hostile to religions and question relgious beliefs, especially those which lack balance and discussion, undermine faith
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conuter argument
the influence may be exaggerated, since the advent of GCSEs in 1980s young people have been encouraged to assess and analyse info. Some religious movements are increasingly using virtual media to propagate their teachings and views
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give me more info
Now that attending a place of worhship is not required to be seen as respectable for any other social reason, It may have been that those who wnt a hundred or more years ago for purely religious reasons are not greater numerically those who go today.
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Religious belief appears to remain strong. The growing number of independat christian chruches, new religous movements and non christian places of worship in britain might suggest what?
that there are as many committed religious believers in britain as ever
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Card 4

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