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Essay on Modern Britain as a Secular Society

Decent Essays
Modern Britain as a Secular Society

Secularisation has become more of an issue among Sociologists recently than it has been in the past, it is the argument of whether or not Religion is losing it's importance in today's Society. Bryan Wilson defined Secularisation as being "The process whereby religious thinking, practices and institutions lose social significance." This definition itself and not just the topic alone causes problems, it might be argued that it is not possible to measure the significance of such a personal thing as religion and if it is possible it may not even be true that Religion held such a significance in the first place. It may not be true that Modern Britain is a Secular
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Eg. In the Roman Catholic Church the number of congregation might be underestimated so that more of the Capitation can be kept for the Parish. It is also possible that more people may 'worship' as individuals or may not be able to attend church, surely this doesn't mean that they are not religious and therefore evidence that Secularisation is not occurring. Martin also argued that growth of New Religious Movements is not evidence of Secularisation, if more people find their beliefs in Sects or Cults then that should not count as proof that Relgion is losing significance but perhaps that Religion is developing a new form.

Sociologists such as Demereth and Hammond believe that religious beliefs cannot be measured by quantitative methods and should be studied by more qualitative methods. ie. Reliosity, which is the extent to which religious belief influences a person's actions and values. They thought that such social indicators as church attendance didn't measure religiosity. For example, there are some people that may attend church as it is considered the 'Done Thing' and not because they have any particular religious beliefs also a person may choose not to attend church because they prefer private worship but this
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