Assess the Arguments and Evidence for the View That Britain Is Becoming a Secular Society

994 Words4 Pages
Assess the arguments and evidence for the view that Britain is becoming a secular society Sociologists argue that in Britain, there has been an overall steady decline in the importance of religion since the 19th century, which has led some sociologists to suggest there was a ‘golden age’ of religiosity. Many sociologists have proposed explanations for the secularisation thesis, for example Weber, Berger and Bruce. However Postmodernists criticise the secularisation theory as they believe that religion hasn’t declined it has just become modernised. Other theories, such as religious market theory and existential security theory, also go against the view that Britain is becoming a secular society as they believe religion takes form in…show more content…
They believe that competition encourages religions to ‘improve’ the quality of the religious goods, which gives people greater freedom to choose a religion that meets their needs. Rather than undermining the religion, religious diversity gives people greater explanations that suit them. This allows people to be spiritual shoppers, and look around for a religion that is meaningful for them. Other critics of the secularisation thesis are Postmodernists, who argue that religious beliefs have not declined, they have simply changed to adapt to modern society. Davie sees religion as taking a privatised form, and although churchgoing has declined, it does not reflect the religious beliefs, as she believes we now have people believing without belonging, where people hold religious beliefs but do not attend church. Davie believes that believing without belonging is a result of change in commitment regarding religion as attendance is now a matter of choice, rather than compulsory, people are adapting religion to suit them, Davie notes that there has been a shift towards vicarious religion, in which people practise religion from a second hand glance, and despite low levels of attendance, many people still use the church for religious rituals such as weddings and baptisms. Therefore these theories suggest that Britain isn’t becoming a secular society, religion is

More about Assess the Arguments and Evidence for the View That Britain Is Becoming a Secular Society

Open Document