What Is Meant by "Secularisation" by José Casanova

Topics: Religion, Sociology of religion, United States Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: November 12, 2012
What is meant by „secularization“ by José Casanova in his book “Public religions in the Modern World”?

In his book “Public religion in the Modern World”, José Casanova tests the theory of secularization and analyses and explains how religion became public again. In his opinion the role of religion started to shift dominantly into the “public sphere”(p3) again in the 1980s. He gives four arguments to support his assumption that are four developments that preceded to a reassessment of religion’s role in the modern world. The first development was the Islamic revolution in Iran, the second the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the third was the role of Catholicism in Latin America especially in Sandinista and the fourth development is illustrated by the public reemergence of Protestant fundamentalism in the United States of America. Casanova points out that in the 1980s religions were struggling in wars in the Middle East and religious activists became highly engaged in struggles for justice and democracy liberation. However, it is not the discovery of the emergence of new religious movements in the 1980s that he exposes but the revitalization and the assumption of public roles by religious traditions. Theories of secularization and cyclical theories of religion assumed that these two developments were becoming steadily irrelevant and marginal in the modern world. It is too broad of a topic to go deeply into Casanova’s argumentation and to examine his four case studies. What will be pointed out in this paper is his comprehension of secularization. The structure will be as followed: I will introduce my paper with José Casanova’s view on the thesis on secularization by taking over his structure that is dividing the thesis in one thesis with two sub theses. Afterwards, I will give my own critics on his view and will end this paper with a conclusion.

Secularization by José Casanova
Casanova starts his first chapter with the question “Who still believes...
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