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Evaluate the View That Society Is Going Through a Process of Secularisation.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By rafi11
Words 1341
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Numerous sociologists have claimed that social change would lead to the weakening or even disappearance of religion (secularisation). For instance, in the nineteenth century it was widely believed that industrialisation and the growth of scientific knowledge would lead to secularisation. This is because, with science many questions can be finally answered, instead of society using religion as an answer for the unknown. For now it is important to look at the definition of secularisation itself. According to the sociologist Bryan Wilson he defines secularisation as the process whereby religious thinking, practices and institutions lose social significance, in other words there is a decline in religion.

Statistical evidence is one of the best ways to investigate if secularisation is actually occurring and church attendance is one of the most valid arguments in the secularisation debate. The decrease of religious significance can be supported by the number of people attending the catholic church. For instance, in 1980 the catholic church reported a total of 2,064,000 attendees. Using the same statistics 25 years later in 2005 it was reported the new number of attendees was at 1,048,900. This is a total decrease of approximately 1,015,100 people!

Further support can be given by Bruce. Bruce’s study found participation and occurrence in religious ceremonies has decreased substantially. For instance, in the 1920s and 1930s, about 90% of children were baptised, however, current figures suggest it is only around 35%. That is a 55% decrease! Although this evidence supports secularisation, it is important to note there has been a growth in New Religious Movements’s (NRM’S) suggesting that society is not becoming secular, yet it is simply finding an alternative to institutionalised religions such as Catholicism and Christianity. Additionally, these trends are only...

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