Everything you need to know about Secularization
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 4 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-04-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Everything you need to know about Secularization
Okay I’m gonna break this stuff down in the following parts what is secularization, the origin of secularization, the different types of secularization and their criticisms and I might add a bit later about consequences of secularization but that’s gonna make it too long for now.

So here goes
Secularization is for instance the gradual decline of visitors to church and more general the influence it has on society and the power of the church under the European populace.

Secularization is a purely descriptive term that says that in the modern world the societal and political importance of religion has strongly declined.
It must be strictly separated from the political – philosophical doctrine that has the normative idea that the public role of religion must be controlled/contained.

The central point of the secularization thesis and secularization is the difference between private life sphere of personal convictions and domestic life or the life in family circles and the public sphere of school media and politics. This public sphere is something different than the state or government sphere. It is quite possible that religion is strictly separated from the government while religion plays a big role in society. For instance the united states of America, the America constitution denies the government influence on the religious life of the individual and at the same time religion is everywhere in the society, media and politics. The secularization thesis holds the claim that religious claims and practices will disappear from the public sphere. Secularization has the normative belief that religion also doesn’t belong in the public sphere. I’ll come back to The difference between public and private but first I’ll focus on the stand of secularization.

The secularization thesis that religion has lost importance in the modern world is closely tied to the modernistic social sciences views on religion. It actually in some way coincides with the birth of sociology . the 2 fathers Durkheim and Weber of the field proclaimed similar theorems. According to them in a modern world the role of religion will be inescapably reduced.
Because of political developments in the sixteen and eighteenth century ( the reformation the Anglican church the rise of bourgeoisie and the absolute kings and lastly the modern state) the catholic church was disintegrated and lost a large part of its political and economic power. But in the nineteenth century religion also seemed less relevant as a societal and moral power. The rapid urbanization and industrial revolution en increasing prestige and success of growing science undermined religion as source of moral authority, social cohesion and political power.
The decreasing societal importance and more important the societal power. Mostly because of the success of science and more general the rationalization of the modern state and society. Meaning practices who are typically rational and not religious. Processes of urbanization, bureaucracy and so on have a caused a more efficient stream lined large scale society. But the downside is that modern society has no place anymore for the feeling of community and security of the pre-modern religiously ordered world .

Durkheim is describing the disappearance of cohesion and meaning and holiness of every day life that religion had to offer as anomie ( Dutch word don’t know the English one) and Weber talks about the inescapable and irreversible disillusion. Both visions are modern and see religion as fundamentally illusionary and doomed to disappear with the advance modernization. Durkheim also shares the positivistic belief that scientific knowledge is superior to religious or metaphysical statements. Including the basis for social order but both recognize that with the modernization something potentially precious or important is lost.
This bit will be followed up on at a later date see chapter 3.1.1

Is the secularization thesis refuted ?
Nowadays the stand of inescapable and irreversible secularization is under pressure. In modernizing Europe church visits en religious experience was indeed decreasing, but if you looked outside of Europe you saw entirely different developments. A early problem case was at first called America’s exceptionalisme. The fact that despite the total separation of state and religion in the constitution, religion was a all controlling factor in American society and remained so. But also elsewhere in the world religion wasn’t really declining. The Islam had a unheard of expansion during the nineteenth century mostly in Africa and south east Asia. Thanks to intensive mission work Christianity also grew in these regions gradually. And in the twentieth new forms of religion have developed around the world in the media and public life: in America and elsewhere tv priests are a familiar phenomenon and on the internet completely new forms of religious practices have formed lately.

Is the secularization thesis refuted with that?
That conclusion is to premature. The modern world has definitely undergone deep religious change and churches no longer play the dominant role they used to. To judge the worth/value of the secularizations thesis better we must define what it means more precisely. For that I call in the help of Spanish religion-sociologist Jose Casanova , who separates secularization in three forms.
The first one he calls is (which literally translates as dechurchinalisation but dictionary just calls it secularization). Traditional churches have indeed lost many of their following these last decades, but this decline must also not be exaggerated. At the same time diverse new forms of religious organizations have arisen., who attracted (young) groups of people. Furthermore this form of secularization isn’t a straightforward process : in my country the Netherlands churches gained influence in society in the nineteenth century. The great secularization is something that happened in recent past. Around 1960 the Netherlands was the most religious country in Europe. And outside of west Europe it is even less clearly a process of secularization. Secularization in the sense of worldwide secularization is untenable

Casanova calls the second form of secularization a increasing ’’societal differentiation’’ in other words the separation of autonomic spheres such as politics, the state and the economy who were independent of the church and no longer expressed in religious terms/statements. This version originates from Weber’s notion of modernizing as a irreversible disintegration of the social world in autonomic spheres . but a increasing differentiation doesn’t imply that religion has less to do with economics or politics: in contrary in the last couple of years you see more interest/ attention for religious or moral considerations in the politics, and new economic dimensions in contemporary religions. Spheres such as religion politics and economics may have become more independent but they are not separate from each other. Secularization as a linear and irreversible process of societal differentiation is also untenable.

A third version of the thesis describes secularization as the privatization of religious belief. This one says that the core of religion in the modern world is increasingly formed by individual experience and inner conviction and experience and less by collective rituals. According to Casanova this version of the secularization thesis is tenable because it doesn’t need to exclude the forming of new public and even political manifestation of religion. Think for instance about religious movements and political parties , who focus more on individuals than communities as church organizations do.

Ok that’s it for now as stated before I will add a bit about the consequences of secularization at a later date and perhaps a bit about the role of secularization in the modern nation state. And I reserve the right to alter this text for potential typos cause I don’t feel like checking now. And I think I will ad the rest in the same post for clarity for future readers.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 01:51 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
"But the downside is that modern society has no place anymore for the feeling of community and security of the pre-modern religiously ordered world."

I entirely disagree with this statement. The idea that religion somehow forms a cohesive bonding agent, unique unto itself, is not only absurd, but ungrounded. Take a look at a small town community and tell me if the primary bonding agent there is religiously inspired, or culturally constructed.

"In modernizing Europe church visits en religious experience was indeed decreasing, but if you looked outside of Europe you saw entirely different developments."

It is true that in significant portions of the world, religion is on the rise. Not so in 'modern' countries though. There are unique instances, such as America, and it's bizarre combination of modernity and faith, and yes, it is strongly on the decline, as slow as that is. Or the infiltration of a Muslim populace in the the heart of Europe, and it's adjoining blurring of the polls. But for the larger portion of the world, although possibly possessing modern technology, still has a culture that is decidedly not as far along as others. Need I bring up sharia law?
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 02:15 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
feel free to bring up what ever you want but i can bring up several theories that support that ''but the downside is that modern society has no place anymore for the feeling of community and security of the pre-modern religiously ordered world." comment all without religious base they come from a field called communitarisme. that focus on the importance of groups and despise how people are used as a means instead of an end/goal. i can also look that up but then i might side track a bit. for now just try undermining the statement that only the third version holds true. the one that claims religion isnt declining but changing to a different form which it has done before as we both stated in a theoretical exploration which deduces god as insecure and sadistic.

and now your fast tracking a bit to the discussion that the secular model is universal and should be accepted by all countries but i can already tell you this secularization model has strong christian europian roots, so people wont accept it easily. they will see it as a form of imperialisme. but i wont go to much into detail about all this untill after the first of june when i have a lot more free time. when my fate has been sealed.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 02:23 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
o_O?

At any rate, I would strongly recommend looking into comma usage. ^_^ It'll make the long chapters easier to digest.

I have no doubt that religion never stopped evolving, and it continues to change today. In a hundred years or so I imagine that we will bear witness to religion 4.0 in full force. However, I do think that religion, as a whole, is dieing in modern civilization. There is a reason that it is called the god of the gaps.

In fact, fast-forward three hundred years and I suspect that there will be a serious division amongst humanity, between those that have faith, and those that do not. I also happen to think that there will be a technological, and cultural division between the two as well.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 02:43 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
(26-04-2010 02:23 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  o_O?

At any rate, I would strongly recommend looking into comma usage. ^_^ It'll make the long chapters easier to digest.

I have no doubt that religion never stopped evolving, and it continues to change today. In a hundred years or so I imagine that we will bear witness to religion 4.0 in full force. However, I do think that religion, as a whole, is dieing in modern civilization. There is a reason that it is called the god of the gaps.

In fact, fast-forward three hundred years and I suspect that there will be a serious division amongst humanity, between those that have faith, and those that do not. I also happen to think that there will be a technological, and cultural division between the two as well.

gimme a break i translated that from a philosophical dutch text so it was rough i but i didnt feel like proofreading it. so i put a disclaimer in it so people will know i am not linguistically retarded. and why is it that only you bother to respond to this or my other one. is it because they are too long for the average attention span here to bother reading it, or too difficult to make a reasonable response to. if so i might dumb it down or perhaps take more time to make it more readable but dont hold you breath language isnt my strong suit, the theoretical is.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 05:12 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
Again, I am not trying to be offensive in regards to your usage of English. I can honestly say that what you are doing is quite a feat; and I am impressed. I merely commented upon commas because it would in fact make it slightly easier to digest. On the other hand, I was unaware that you were wholesale transcribing these texts, so I would not in the least expect such dedication to minor details. Don't worry about it.

Why am I one of the only people responding? (shrugs) I can not speak for others, but I see no reason why not to respond to your lengthy posts. I do not think that they need dumbing down in the least, especially not the other one; this one was much more pleasant on the eyes.

On the other hand, I will continue to engage in conversation and debate with you, so long as you continue to post.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 05:46 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
no worries mate i didnt really take offence or anything but fact remains interpuction is my weakest part in languages. mostly because i dont need them to make sense of a text. i dont get people who read like a robot and can only understand a sentence if a comma is there. so dont bother asking about it. i try to keep it legible but i wont go to extreme lenghs because it is to difficult for me to write a sound text interpunction wise. especially long ones, i get to a point that i get sick of reading my own text and start to remember the content in every paragraph. i can recite my motivation letter for my college application by heart by now. and i still intend to change that some more i just dont like it even though my dean says its okay.

finally i am intending to transscribe some more articles to deepen the discussion a bit more rather than just reiterating the same arguments and say i dont agree. but it is just way to much to attempt right now. this is just a small fraction, my final exam is about the relation between science and religion and my textbook is 200 pages long and i have to know it by heart. and it contains a few interesting things to post here.

but for now i wanna see martin responding here the most, secondly unbeliever. cause after all i did write this bit so martin would have some more ammo. he should be happy with this i think and more is to follow in his favor if i get round to it. cause this is just one subject i have like 7 more. time constraints last till june.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 05:50 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
>_< Glad to see my opinion is valued here. Lol ^_^
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 06:07 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
its not like i dont value your opinion its just i want a variety of opinions and the hardest pro and contra are martin and unbeliever. so with you somewhere in the middle leaning towards unbeliever it makes a reasonable good sounding board( not sure if it is a word) to bounce theories of off.

oh and off topic what ever happened to the thinkingatheist the editior who founded this site is he still around.
Quote this message in a reply
26-04-2010, 06:15 PM
 
RE: Everything you need to know about Secularization
(26-04-2010 06:07 PM)ulfark Wrote:  its not like i dont value your opinion its just i want a variety of opinions and the hardest pro and contra are martin and unbeliever. so with you somewhere in the middle leaning towards unbeliever it makes a reasonable good sounding board( not sure if it is a word) to bounce theories of off.

oh and off topic what ever happened to the thinkingatheist the editior who founded this site is he still around.

I would respond but not enough comma usage!

The founder is easy to get a hold of, I emailed him a number of times when the site was down and he respond right away all times.

Just kidding with the comma usage, step away from the keyboard!
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: