The Ideas of Belief and Belonging

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t believing “Religion today is more about believing than belonging” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view of the relationship between religious beliefs, religious organisations, and social groups in society today? [40 mark] January 2007

When looking at the subject of Religious practice in a post modern society, Grace Davie often refers to the tem, belief and belonging. Grace Davie appears to view these two key ideas as the dividing line between those who take part in religion. Belief can be seen as the privatised method of religious activity, such as praying at home, believing in a God, but not really carrying on this practice when in public. Belonging on the other hand is often where religious believers express their views and beliefs more publically, taking part in religious meetings and attending gatherings. However, in our post modern society, it is clear to see that when looking purely at mainstream church attendance, religion does appear to be in decline, it is important though to keep in mind Grace Davie’s ideology of belief and belonging. Belied is an aspect of religion that is much harder to measure when looking at religion in our society, and therefore it is hard to gain a truly representative view of whether or not religion is actually in decline, especially with the growth of New Religious Movements, privatised worship and beliefs.

Amongst the national decline in a number of mainstream religions such as the Church of England, one particular denomination seems to be having a huge increase in its members. Evangelical churches seem to be becoming more and more popular within society, for both younger and older generations, in particular families as a whole. The main ethos of the evangelical church seems to be to encourage the belief and the belonging of its members. Taking evangelism to others extremely seriously, and spreading ‘the word’. The evangelical church seen to encourage fundamentalist Christian morals...
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