Sociology and Single Religious Worldview

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What is meant by the term ‘secularization’? According to your understanding, is Australia a ‘secularized’ society?  Secularization describes the process whereby religion loses its influence over various spheres of social life. Modern day Australia is by this definition a secularized society. Individuals may engage in religious and spiritual practices, but this has increasingly become a private pursuit; institutionalized churches no longer play the central role they once did in education, welfare or politics. It is the modern day values of profit and consumerism that are now replacing concerns about salvation. The idea that Western societies have moved away from religious or divine authority dates back to the 1600s, but it was Weber who in 1910 gave us the term “secularization.” His phrase about the increasing “disenchantment of the world” has come to signify all that secularization could mean: the decline in importance of things mystical. Steve Bruce (2001) asserts that the decline of religion in the modern west was not an accident but an unintended consequence of a variety of complex social changes that is modernization. Central to modernization is the differentiation and specialization of social units. Commerce and industrialization have led to the division of labor and thereby to increasing societal fragmentation. Communities in which people operated with a shared religious worldview where the church was the center of all moral, intellectual and spiritual life have all but disappeared. In 1979, C. Wright Mills stated “In due course the sacred shall disappear altogether, except, possibly in the private realm”. Today, religion has become an increasing private, rather than a public matter. Many people who hold religious beliefs do not regularly attend services or take part in public ceremonies. And of those that do attend church, many do so out of habit or because it is expected of them in their community. For example, baptisms, church weddings, and other...
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