An analysis of the concept of secularization and its meaning

When discussing populations, secularization refers to broad patterns of societal decline in levels of religiosity as opposed to the individual-level secularization of 4 above.

As is becoming apparent in Europe and the United States, even where belief in the supernatural remains, denominational and confessional attachments appear to be weakening. That upward march continued throughout most of the twentieth century, with membership rates leveling off at around 60 percent by the s and s.

What explains the upward climb of religious adherence, the movement from sparsely planted and weakly established churches in the colonial period to the vital, oversubscribed religious groups of the present?

It began in the s as part of a much larger social and cultural revolution. Abdel Wahab Elmessiri outlined two meanings of the term secularization: This established popular sovereignty in a secular republican framework, in opposition to a system whose authority is based on religion.

Annual Gallup polls from through showed that the fraction of American who did not identify with any particular religion steadily rose from This kind of secularization argument—religion has become a private, domestic affair, and it has been diminished thereby—is, as the historian Ann Braude suggests, almost inevitably also a negative commentary on the feminization of religion in American culture.

With these calculations in hand, many sociologists and historians are ready to bury both the conservative vision of a once Christian America and the liberal delight in the forward march of secularization.

The issue of secularization is discussed in various religious traditions. Casanova also describes this as the theory of "privatization" of religion, which he partially criticizes.

Berkeley and Los Angeles: Religion and the Political Unconscious of Historical Sociology. European sociology, influenced by anthropologywas interested in the process of change from the so-called primitive societies to increasingly advanced societies.

Whereas, in the other industrial nations of the north Atlantic world, rates of church attendance and adherence have moved downward, often dramatically, the American case stands in direct opposition. The government of Turkey is an often cited[ by whom?

Political mobilization on the basis of religion is often triggered by the efforts of political elites to reduce the public role of religion institutional secularization or extend governmental authority to domains previously organized by religious organizations.

Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy. Is a Nativity scene surrounded by reindeer and candy-striped poles really a secular cultural symbol as the Supreme Court decided in Lynch v.


Secularization and religious economies perspectives are at odds over the consequences of pluralism, with the former positing that it leads to increasing irreligion and privatization, while the latter suggests that increased religious competition fosters strength in religious organizations cf.

As the responsibility for education has moved from the family and community to the statetwo consequences have arisen: As one of many examples of state modernization, this shows secularization and democratization as mutually reinforcing processes[ citation needed ], relying on a separation of religion and state.

An analysis of the concept of secularization and its meaning

Clean distinctions are hard to come by, and what abides instead is the shifting, negotiable relationship between things secular and things religious in American history and culture. Due to the diversity of potential paths of operationalization, conceptualization and measurement significantly influence the proportion of individuals in a given area who are considered irreligious.

This freemarket paradigm, as persuasive as it has proven to be, carries limits. What counts as the religious and what counts as the secular keep crisscrossing and blurring, so that marking out their respective domains is at best an elusive enterprise: Religion was thus safely tucked away within the confines of the individual conscience.

It also rendered Chinese society much more egalitarian than Western Europe and Japan. The continuing growth and vitality of religion in the United States shifted much of the attention away from accounts of secularization and placed the historical emphasis instead on the growing "Christianization" or more generally "sacralization" of the culture.

New HavenConn.:For example, Berger defines the term as meaning: “The process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols” (). Secularization perspectives are varied, but in general there are three levels upon which secularization is theorized to occur (see Tschannen ).


Secularization (or secularisation) is the transformation of a society from close identification and affiliation with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its.

Indices of Secularization. Analysis of social structure will reveal in broad terms to what extent the order and operation of society depend on conceptions of the supernatural and activities related to it; that is, the extent to which a society is secularized.

The application of the concept of secularization to society at large has an. PDF | On Jan 1,Marek Chojnacki and others published "Secularization" or Plurality of Meaning Structures.

And because it an analysis of the concept of secularization and its meaning addresses the most profound existential issues of human life (e g Wij willen hier een beschrijving geven.

Religion. shall call "the secularization claim" regarding the United States. It endeavors, in par-ticulai; to clarify the possible meanings of "secularization," and then to use these con -ceptual refinements to examine what sort of evidence exists that .

An analysis of the concept of secularization and its meaning
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