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  1. 1. Explaining Secularisation • Why is the attitude to religion changing with time? What it depends on with different cultures? Why is religion become a more private matter? • Watch the video and answer the questions. You will need this knowledge to help with the next activity.
  2. 2. What does the AQA spec say….. • The significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context. • Secularisation: problems of definition and measurement; aspects of secularisation such as disengagement, rationalisation, rise of pluralism/diversity, desacralisation, disenchantment, individuation. • Arguments and evidence for and against secularisation eg attendance and membership; believing without belonging; the secularisation cycle theory and compensators (Stark and Bainbridge); UK compared with other countries (eg USA) and global significance of religion today, new forms of religion - New Age religions…
  3. 3. Starter: Defining and Measuring Secularisation Starter: On a post it…. Write down one problem with defining secularisation and one problem in measuring secularisation - WITHOUT LOOKING AT YOUR NOTES. EXT: What is the difference between believing and belonging? Can you believe and not belong? Or belong and not believe?
  4. 4. Using the above points and your own knowledge, prepare an opening statement (3-4 minutes) which outlines your general perspective. After these statements, opposing teams can ask questions and debate the points raised. We will end with a closing statement from each side, summarising why your perspective is right. they cause For this debate you will need to be SYNOPTIC.
  5. 5. Write up - Answer the debate Q Using the arguments presented in the debate, write up the various responses to the debate statement: “All religions should be abandoned as they cause more problems than they solve.” Make sure that you use specialist terminology, evidence and examples where possible. NOTE: Your notes here can be used for a number of topics in Beliefs - Marxism, Functionalism, Social Change, Fundamentalism, religious conflict
  6. 6. Starter: Defining and Measuring Secularisation Starter: On a post it…. Write down one problem with defining secularisation and one problem in measuring secularisation - WITHOUT LOOKING AT YOUR NOTES. EXT: What is the difference between believing and belonging? Can you believe and not belong? Or belong and not believe?
  7. 7. Secularisation In Britain LO: To critically assess the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context Did you know that more people in the world recognise the golden arches of the than the Christian cross? Starter: In 1851, approx 40% of adults attended Church in Britain. In 2015, that dropped to 5%. What can explain this statistical drop? List your ideas.
  8. 8. “The process whereby religious thinking, practices and institutions lose social significance” Wilson 1966 What is Secularisation ? Since 1851… Decline in church attendance Increase in the age of church goers (less young people)Fewer baptisms and church weddings Greater diversity of beliefs e.g. non Christian religions For the beliefs exam, you need to critically understand the various explanations for this decline and the conclusions as to whether, and how far, religion is declining.
  9. 9. Learning Outcomes…… –Know and understand the main arguments for and against the notion that our society is becoming more secularized (AO1) –To begin to evaluate the key sociological ideas in this debate (AO3) –Evaluate the research in this area e.g. the use of statistics (AO3)
  10. 10. Definitions of Secularisation Even when a definition is decided on for ‘Religion’, it is equally as difficult to define ‘Secularisation’: Is this definition useful? Why might some suggest this definition is too vague, not operationalised and therefore difficult to measure? As a class we will read through the information sheet ‘Secularisation: Definitions and Problems…’ As a class we will discuss the Qs at the end and brainstorm ideas.
  11. 11. Evidence in Favour of Secularisation in the UK The Statistical Evidence: Church attendance today…. • Largely support the secularisation theory e.g. McAndrew (2011) Religion 1980 2005 Anglican 1.37 million 870,000 Methodist 606,000 289, 000 Roman Catholic 2.06 million 893,000 Church weddings: 60% in 1971, down to 30% in 2012. Infant baptisms have declined however, ‘bogus baptisms’ have increased - older children getting baptised to gain entry to high performing faith schools. Hatching, matching and dispatching…..
  12. 12. Evidence in Favour of Secularisation in the UK The Statistical Evidence: Religion affiliation/belonging • Largely support the secularisation theory Clements - complied data on Christian identification. Used large scale, longitudinal surveys (1963 - 2012) to investigate Christian attitudes and affiliation. Significant findings: Proportion of people who identify themselves as being Anglican dropped from 65% to 20% - that is a fall from 10% to 2% of the UK population. Significant findings: Huge increase (1400%) over the last 48 years in the number of people who claim ‘no religion’. Possible AO3: Belonging to a non-Christian faith e.g. Islam has increased in the UK (0.6% in 1963, 6% in 2012)
  13. 13. Evidence in Favour of Secularisation in the UK The Statistical Evidence: Religious belief Possible AO3: Difficult to define ‘belief’ - vague and flexible category. For example, belief in God or a supernatural force? Or does the paranormal, fortune telling, fate and destiny also come under the category of ‘belief’? Significant findings: Belief in God has declined since 1991, as has the belief in Jesus as the son of God and Christian teachings about the afterlife. Last Census 632 said their religion was “Jedi” Is that an argument for secularisation or not my Padawan ?
  14. 14. AO3: Using Statistics to support religiosity Below are a number of AO3 points for the use of statistics in sociology. You must first decide whether the points are strengths and/or weaknesses. You must then expand each AO3 point, explaining why it is a strength or weakness specifically for church attendance, belonging and believing i.e. MAKE IT RELEVANT - secularisation. Social desirability bias Less meaningful - link to Interpretivism Large scale Subject to bias/exaggeration (from the publisher e.g. the church) Statistical/objective /replicable Remember to link to secularisation- church attendance, belonging and believing. Validity (attend but do not believe?)
  15. 15. Religious Institutions: What influence do they have? The role of the church has dramatically changed since the 19th century. Whilst it used to have a very influential role in society, nowadays many of the church's functions are carried out by the state. E.G. Education, social welfare, political influence, law…. In addition, the number of clergy has declined, which means there are less religious figures ‘on the ground’ having an influence day to day. Question: Why do you think less people are applying to be part of the clergy e.g. priests?
  16. 16. Explanations of Secularisation A common theme in explaining secularisation is modernisation. Another common theme is the growth of social and religious diversity - which underlines the authority of religious institutions AND the credibility of religious beliefs. The decline of tradition and its replacement with more rational and scientific ways of thinking that tend to undermine religion. There are 4 main explanations that we will focus on - Rationalisation, structural differentiation, social diversity and religious diversity.
  17. 17. Explaining Secularisation - Group Task There are 4 main explanations for secularisation - each comes with evidence and possible AO3. You will work in pairs/groups to present your explanation. You must design and create a teaching tool - this could be an A3 poster, a PPT, use of the white board, a build concept. SUCCESS CRITERIA: You must include evidence where possible and if any AO3 has been given, you must include this also. ALL students need to complete a detailed set of notes on the explanations as they are watching the presentations.
  18. 18. 10 mark question…… Outline and explain two reasons why the Church of England may be seen to be in decline (10 marks) Remember - A01 = 5 AO2 = 3 AO3 = 2 Key concepts: Rationalisation; disenchantment; structural differentiation; disengagement; religion diversity/pluralism; social diversity; cultural diversity;
  19. 19. Secularisation in a Global Context: America One society that appears to contradict the secularisation theory is the USA. • 40% of adult population regularly attend church • 90% claim to believe in God • Only 2% claim to be atheists • Pew Research Centre found that American Christians regarded atheists as being less trustworthy than rapists! Clearly a huge pressure to conform - why might this underline the validity of statistics and religiosity?
  20. 20. Religiosity in America: Social desirability? Hadaway (1993) - if 40% of Americans were going to church then they would be completely full - but they are not. There is a discrepancy between opinion polls (from “church goers”) and the church’s own attendance figures. Why do you think that is? • Social desirability bias in self reports • Normative to go to church • Fear of being an outcast America’s religion - considered less religious and more secular The emphasis on traditional Christian beliefs has declined in America. Instead, religion has become ‘psychologised’ and turned into a form of therapy. This is also referred to as a ‘cultural defence’ - religion is being used as a defence against rapid social change and a means of handling cultural transitions.
  21. 21. Secularisation from within….. Is religion in America becoming more secular from within? American church goers are less interested in the teachings of the bible and more focused on the ‘American way of life’ - stressing the values of democracy, freedom, attainment and material success. People in America are also demonstrating more practical realism and accepting that people hold different religious views to their own and accepting religious diversity. Well….not everyone!
  22. 22. AO3: Criticisms to Consider (will be developed more later) • Religion is not declining, it is simply changing its form • Secularisation theory only focuses on religion decline and ignores religious revival and the growth of new religions • Evidence is heavily based on statistics and self report methods - methodological issues • Secularisation is not universal • The decline in church attendance can be explained by other factors e.g. people being too old and frail to attend church, rather than being explained by a lack of belief. • Church attendance also has a social factor - people may belong but not necessarily believe.
  23. 23. AO3: Ethnicity and religion (synoptic link) • Minority ethnic groups seem to be more religious than white British people but Steve Bruce (1996) suggests that this may be more complex . • He argues that religion may provide additional functions for minority ethnic and migrant groups: – Cultural Defence: If two cultures are in conflict and have different beliefs the religion can become a way of asserting ethnic pride and community solidarity e.g. the wearing of religious symbols – Cultural transition: Religion can be useful during a time when people have to adjust their identity to deal with changed situations e.g. African- Caribbean migrants to Britain can use Churches, Mosques as a focus for their culture – He argues that this is not “truly religious” behaviour
  24. 24. Homework Outline and explain two problems with using church attendance statistics as a way of measuring the extent of secularisation. 10 marks
  25. 25. Arguments AGAINST Secularisation Critics challenge the secularisation theory’s claim that religion is declining: • They question whether religion is declining, or simply changing in a postmodern world. • They reject the view that increased diversity undermines religion, if anything it encourages greater involvement in religion. • They argue that religion may be declining in Europe, but not on a global scale. In order to challenge the secularisation theory, we must explore the above claims. Alternatives to secularisation theory - Theories of late modernity/postmodernity and the religious market theory.
  26. 26. New Forms of Religion: Individualism, choice and consumerism Consumerism = The consumption of good and services (in this case, going to church) is based on whether it is desirable to do so. In other words, it is our choice. Grace Davie (2013) argues that in this modern, Western society we have progressed from obligation to consumption. “I go to church because I want to. I will continue my attachment so long as it provides what I want, but I have no obligation either to attend in the first place or to continue if I don’t want to” (Grace Davie)
  27. 27. Believing without Belonging People no longer feel the obligation to make their religious beliefs public by attending church with others. For many of us, we still hold onto our belief but it is more privatised. Belonging without believing - Just because people attend church, donate money, sing the hymns etc, does that mean they truly believe? It might simply be to catch up with friends, or keep up appearances! Can we trust the previous statistics on belonging? People do believe, they simply do no feel the need to declare that publically though attending church or indeed, completing a survey about it! Keyword: Vicarious religion
  28. 28. Davie: Vicarious Religion Although religion is not practiced overtly in Europe, people engage vicariously (indirectly) through other people. “Churches and church leaders perform rituals on behalf of others church leaders and churchgoers believe on behalf of others; church leaders and churchgoers embody moral codes on behalf of others.” In Europe, religion is seen as a ‘Spiritual Health Service”, like the NHS. It belongs to everyone and the majority of people use it when they need to e.g. in times of national tragedy or mourning, such as the death of Princess Diana, terrorist attacks. What do you think? 1. Do you think these ideas suggest that religion is unimportant? 2. Is ‘silent religion’ as strong as public religion?
  29. 29. AO3: Davie’s ‘believing without belonging’ claim… Some sociologists do not accept Davie’s claim that there is more believing than belonging. Voas (2013) - surveys consistently show that church attendance and beliefs are declining together (5,750 sample). If Davie was right, we would expect to see higher levels of belief. Census - 72% identified themselves as Christians BUT in follow up interviews, Day (2007) found that many ‘Christians’ did not describe themselves like this for religion reasons. It was a non religious marker of their ethnic or national identity (E.G. British). Have people lost their religious identity?
  30. 30. Spiritual Shopping Children no longer have religions handed down to them from the older generation - because fewer parents teach their children about religion. Hervieu-Leger (2006) calls this cultural amnesia - the loss of a collective memory of what religious traditions and beliefs used to be like. Nowadays, children can decide for themselves what they want to believe. They have become ‘spiritual shoppers’. Children have no fixed, religious identity. But that does not mean that religion has disappeared entirely - it has simply changes its form - it’s a more DIY belief…
  31. 31. Spiritual Shopping: Religion has become a personal, spiritual journey where we choose the elements we want to explore and the groups we wish to join. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9C- H_UvbUg&list=PLPZ0pafWgLXRRmagsayLHRXbZLBMMkoTW& index=12 Two new religious types: 1. Pilgrims - Follow their own individual path to ‘self discovery’ e.g. exploring New Age spirituality(we will come to this later) 2. Converts - join religious groups that offer a strong sense of belonging e.g. Evangelical movements, ethnic minority churches.
  32. 32. Postmodernism - Quick definition Focuses on individual truths and stays away from information that is confined to cultures, races, traditions or groups Individual experiences will always be relative and cannot yield universal truths. Does not believe that there is a theory that can explain everything for every human being, such as a religious or philosophical truth. They reject all embracing theories that claim to have the absolute truth - they call these meta- narratives - just someone's version of the truth. They take a relativist position - all views are true for those who hold them….Links to religion.
  33. 33. Postmodern Religion - David Lyon (2000) The postmodernist perspective is based on the idea that society is an unstable, fragmented, media saturated global village, where image and reality are indistinguishable (Lyon, 2000) In a postmodern society, we define ourselves by what we consume. Globalisation, media and religion - ideas and beliefs have moved across national boundaries because of the media saturating us with images and messages from around the globe.
  34. 34. ‘The Electronic Church’ TV programs/web sites that present a preacher and a religious service online so that believers no longer need to go to church to express their faith - they can do it via media! In the USA there are 1,064 religious radio stations and 25 religious television stations, and the number continues to grow at about one per week. Religion has become ‘disembedded’ from real, local churches to the TV and internet! Religion has become ‘de- institutionalised’ - removed from its original location/institution and is ‘floating in cyber space.’
  35. 35. Religious Consumerism (Postmodern Religion) Postmodernists believe that the role of religion is to suit the needs of the individual, rather than society as whole. Postmodern society also includes the growth of consumerism - we construct our religions through what we choose to consume. Links to Hervieu-Leger - spiritual shoppers! ‘Jesus in Disneyland’ Contemporary disciples of Jesus have used Disneyland for religious events, whilst Disney characters are now probably better known throughout the world than many biblical figures! But Lyon argues that religion is NOT declining, but changing its form….
  36. 36. Towards the end of the second millennium in the Christian calendar, 10000 pilgrims took part in the ‘Harvest Day Parade’ and chose to do so in Disneyland California! The organisers mission was ‘to bring God’s Kingdom to the magical kingdom”. This was used as a theme for Lyon’s work. In the West, many religious institutions have declined in social significance. However, what Lyon calls ‘the religious realm’ (including faith and spirituality) is flourishing in diverse forms. One effect of religious consumerism - the loss of metanarratives: theories or worldviews that claim to have absolute, authoritative truth (such as traditional religions)
  37. 37. Religious Consumerism: Re-enchantment of the world Madonna is a ‘spiritual shopper’, ‘religious consumer’ and fits in with the notion of pick and mix, as she follows a range of beliefs stemming from Catholicism, Kabbalah (Judaism) and yoga (Buddhism). Lyon - the decline of traditional churches does NOT spell the end for religion - religion is simply evolving and taking on new forms. A new age of religion…. Contrary to Weber’s views, Lyon argues that society is now entering a period of re-enchantment - the growth of unconventional beliefs, practices and spirituality.
  38. 38. Individualism, self religions and the New Age New Age Religions - spiritually reject the idea of obligation and obedience to an external authority found in traditional religions. Read the information sheet on ‘New Age Spirituality’. Why might some say that the growth of New Age self religions has led to a ‘spiritual revolution’? Christianity is giving way to ‘holistic spirituality’ and the ‘spiritual market’ e.g. increased number of self help books, alternative therapies ranging from meditation to crystal healing. Look at the table on page 32 - why might spirituality appeal to more people than ‘traditional’ religions?
  39. 39. Task: Summary Paragraph… Summarise the main arguments against secularisation. Use the following: • The increase in New Age religions, what they are and why they are so appealing? • Davie and Vicarious religion • Lyon and postmodern religion
  40. 40. Starter: Recap Questions 1. Explain what is meant by ‘believing without belonging’. 2. Explain what is meant by ‘vicarious religion’. 3. According to Hervieu-Leger, what is meant by spiritual shopping and cultural amnesia? EXT: Explain how the above can be used to challenge secularisation theory.
  41. 41. Recap Questions… Lyon argues that society is now entering a period of re-enchantment . What does he mean by this?
  42. 42. Sociologists disagree about the nature and extent of secularisation in the world today. Some argue that secularisation is linked to the process of becoming a modern society. The changes involved in this development include taking on more scientific and rational ways of interpreting the world. For many, these new ways are seen as incompatible with holding religious beliefs. Weber (1905) called this process the ‘disenchantment of the world’. More recently, Bruce (2002) argued that the decline of religious influence could be linked to the growth of technology. Other sociologists argue that religion is not declining but changing. For example, some postmodernists hold the view that people no longer need to belong to or have a lifelong commitment to a religious organisation. Instead, they pick and mix, or adapt various aspects of different religions to suit their own personal lifestyles. Using material from Item A, analyse two reasons why people today choose not to be lifelong members of religious organisations. (10 marks)
  43. 43. Sociologists disagree about the nature and extent of secularisation in the world today. Some argue that secularisation is linked to the process of becoming a modern society. The changes involved in this development include taking on more scientific and rational ways of interpreting the world. For many, these new ways are seen as incompatible with holding religious beliefs. Weber (1905) called this process the ‘disenchantment of the world’. More recently, Bruce (2002) argued that the decline of religious influence could be linked to the growth of technology. Other sociologists argue that religion is not declining but changing. For example, some postmodernists hold the view that people no longer need to belong to or have a lifelong commitment to a religious organisation. Instead, they pick and mix, or adapt various aspects of different religions to suit their own personal lifestyles. Using material from Item A, analyse two reasons why people today choose not to be lifelong members of religious organisations. (10 marks)
  44. 44. Kendal Study (Heelas and Woodhead, 2005) A Spiritual Revolution? The aim of the study was to map patterns of religion and spirituality in Kendal (treating it as a ‘spiritual laboratory’) and exploring questions such as how different forms of Christianity are faring, the relative importance of alternative forms of spirituality, and the meanings and significance of religion and spirituality in people’s lives.
  45. 45. Kendal Study (Heelas and Woodhead, 2005) A Spiritual Revolution? Methods: Telephone interviews, questionnaires, participant observations. Results: • Traditional churches (congregational domains e.g. Catholic) were losing support, whereas Evangelical churches were ‘holding their own’. Holistic milieu (environments) are slowly increasing (spirituality or New Age) Explanations: “Religion that tells you what to believe and how to behave is out of tune with a culture which believes it is up to us to seek answers for ourselves”. (Heelas and Woodhead) Churches are declining because they demand obedience and duty, whereas people want to explore their own paths.
  46. 46. AO3: The Weakness of New Age Many of the arguments we have explored suggest that there is no general trends towards secularisation and that religion is not declining, rather it is changing its form. Match the critique of this claim to its subheading and stick them into your notes. Annotate around these to add more detail if necessary. Then answer the following 10 mark question:
  47. 47. AO3: The Weakness of New Age - Match them up The problem of scale Socialisation of the next generation Weak commitment Structural weakness For a belief system to survive it must be passed down to the next generation, however, in the Kendal project only 32% of parents who were involved in New Age religions said their children shared their spiritual interests. Furthermore, women in the holistic milieu are more likely to be childless. Even if New Age forms of individualised religion are springing up, this would have to be on a much larger number if it is to fill the gap left by more traditional religions. Bruce (2006) found that although people dabbled in meditation, alternative medicine and astrology etc, serious commitments was quite rare. Not many people practicing New Age alternatives said that they were important in their lives. New Age spirituality is unlikely to fill the gap left by the decline in traditional religions because it cannot achieve consensus about its beliefs. People are free to believe what they want and so it lacks cohesion as a movement.
  48. 48. Online Religion - Religion Online (Helland 2000) Religion online: Refers to the majority of religious websites, which seemed to provide only religious information and no interaction - used to address potential converts. Online religion: Religious websites where people could act with unrestricted freedom and a high level of interactivity e.g. virtual worship and meditation spaces. Do you think this radical, new alternative could eventually replace religion? Postmodernists support the view that online religion is a radical new alternative that may be replacing religion in order to suit individualistic needs.

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9W0q6RqdV0
  • GETTING STARTED - use as starter
  • Religion is become individualistic - suiting the needs of the individual, rather than the needs of society.
  • Give resources from Napier press AND Collins. Cut up and stick onto an A3 sheet.
  • Trying to get students to think “no, not unimportant because it represents a place where people can come together and express grief.”
  • 1. Should not have one declining with the other - church attendance should be decreasing but beliefs should be higher.

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