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The anti- secularization thesis

In , just over 50 years ago, the distinguished Canadian-born anthropologist Anthony Wallace confidently predicted the global demise of religion at the hands of an advancing science: "Belief in supernatural powers is doomed to die out, all over the world, as a result of the increasing adequacy and diffusion of scientific knowledge. On the contrary, the modern social sciences, which took shape in 19th-century western Europe, took their own recent historical experience of secularization as a universal model. An assumption lay at the core of the social sciences, either presuming or sometimes predicting that all cultures would eventually converge on something roughly approximating secular, Western, liberal democracy. Then something closer to the opposite happened. Not only has secularism failed to continue its steady global march but countries as varied as Iran, India, Israel, Algeria, and Turkey have either had their secular governments replaced by religious ones, or have seen the rise of influential religious nationalist movements.
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Essay on Secularization - Words | Bartleby

One key debate in the sociology of beliefs in society is the extent to which we are undergoing a process of secularisation. That is, the extent to which society is becoming less religious. There is quantitative data to suggest that religious practice and institutions are losing their social significance in countries like the UK and the USA. Gill et al used surveys to show a significant decline in belief in God and the afterlife. Steve Bruce suggests that, if the number of clergy and congregations continue to decline at their current rate, Methodism will cease to exist by As for theoretical explanations for secularisation, we can begin with Max Weber who talked about a process of rationalisation and the disenchantment of the world.
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Secularization And Secularism

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Heelas argued that data from his Kendal research found that although there might be secularisation of in terms of traditional religions, there is, at the same time, a process of resacrilisation — a renewal and continuing vitality of religious beliefs — as people shift from traditional religions to a more individualistic spirituality centred on the self. This research suggests that religious belief is not disappearing, but it is simply being reoriented — taking a new for in which people pick and mix their spirituality from the wide range of beliefs on offer, tailored to what they feel they need and what works for them. Grace Davie believes that religion is not declining but simply taking a different, more privatised form.
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