Secularization, a Feature of Only Modern European Societies

Pages: 3 (1277 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Assess the view that secularisation has been a feature only of modern European societies. Sociologists have minor differences on secularisation, whether this is the extent of secularisation or what is happening to society due to secularisation. A definition given by Wilson of secularisation is the process whereby religious beliefs, institutions and practices have lost their social influence. Other sociologists such as Bruce and Gill further add to Wilson’s research by adding more evidence and expected trends such as Bruce’s prediction that current trends will continue and by 2030 the Church of England will be just a small voluntary organisation. Weber uses the concept of secularisation to add to his research of rationalisation - transition from religious tradition to rational and scientific ways of thinking and the process by which rational ways of thinking have gradually replaced the religious teachings and understandings of the world. Weber argued that Martin Luther started secularisation when he began what was later called the Protestant Reformation. Roman Catholic was the main religion especially within the UK and most of Europe that most of the population believed to be true. Luther had started the end of the rule of the church within the UK by causing what Weber describes as disenchantment. He talks about disenchantment as a way of escaping the beliefs of the church, this caused the thought that the world operates according to its own laws of nature based on science and reason instead of religion and superstition. Crockett identifies the 19th century to be the golden age of religiosity as in 1851 census of Religious worship 40% or more of the adult population attended church. More recently in the 1960’s this had dropped to 10-15%, Wilson also identifies that this statistic dropped even lower in 2005 to 6.3% of the adult population attended church on Sundays. There have also been a number of other observations made over this period, for instance; there has...
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