Are Religious Beliefs and Practices Changing to Reflect a New Era of Diversity and Choice?

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Assess the view that religious beliefs and practices are changing to reflect a new era of diversity and choice.

In the recent years there has been evidence to support that religious activity and religious beliefs are declining in the UK e.g. the rise of new religious movements such as Jehovah’s witnesses (sect), but some sociologists reject this and say that religion isn’t declining it is just changing to fit into a more increasingly changing society. Davie is one of these sociologists; in her view religion is taking a different, more privatised form. She explains this by giving the example of that people no longer go to church because they feel they have to or because it is respectable to do so. She says that although churchgoing
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the Church and Mosque as well as the growing importance of individual choice in matters of religion e.g. self healing.

Hervieu-Léger’s view backs up that religious beliefs and practices are changing to reflect a new era of diversity and choice because of the fact that people are now choosing what to belief in and choosing different parts of different religions to belief in, rather than religiously following the teachings of the bible without question.

Lyon describes how globalisation has increased the movements of ideas and beliefs across national boundaries. Due to the central role played by postmodern society by the media and information technology, which saturates us with images and messages from around the globe. These ideas have become disembedded, for example the electronic church and televangelism disembed religion from the real, local churches and relocated it on the internet allowing believers to express their faith without physically attending church. Lyon describes a harvest day crusade held not in church but at Disneyland as an example of how the boundaries between different areas of social life become blurred in postmodern society. As a result religion becomes de- institutionalised, being removed from their original location in the church, they become a cultural resource that individuals can adapt for their own purposes.

Also postmodern society involves the growth of consumerism and especially the idea that we now construct our identities
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