Religion and New Age Movements

968 Words4 Pages
Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the view that most people today see spirituality and religious belief as purely private and personal matters.

In society today religion can be seen in two different ways, as a private and personal matter or something to share with your community. Some sociologists would argue that religion and spirituality is a private matter because of televangelism, which is where people watch their religions services on television or go on online churches in the comfort and privacy of their own home when we have free time but other sociologists argue that this does not mean that religion and spirituality is a private matter, but that we have to use televangelism due to the fact we live in a postmodern
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This gives us greater choice between what we believe in and what we don’t.

There are many methodological problems with measuring whether religion has become privatized, on of these problems is that ‘ how do you measure how many religious organisations there are?’ this is a problem because it is near impossible to count every single religious organisation in the world because of the amount of cults and sects that exist that not everybody may know about. Sociologists argue that there has been a decrease on the number of religious organisations, and therefore religious belief is decreasing, but they do not take into account that it may not be religious belief that is declining, but that lack of funding has meant that the religious beliefs could not remain forcing people into practise privately, Also, how do you define what a religious organisation is. Another problem with measuring whether religion has become privatised is that you can’t know what people are thinking, just because they don’t visit a religious organisation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not religious, they may just not have the time to visit the organisation so instead use things like televangelism to practise at home. Also, just because people don’t attend religious organisations often, Stark and Bainbridge believe that the decline in traditional religions has created a demand for newer religions, this includes new age
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