• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Secularisation. Bryan Wilson said all societies would eventually lose their religion, a vague statement but one, which has been researched into for many years. However one person who has challenged this is David Martin he sees that secularisation isnt

Extracts from this document...


Secularisation is the process of societies losing their religious significance. Weber argued the development of scientific knowledge would out weigh the supernatural beliefs of religion therefore taking them out of society. Evedence, which is used to show the decline in religions, is usually attendance to religious institutions and religious practise. This evidence however can be contested. Bryan Wilson said all societies would eventually lose their religion, a vague statement but one, which has been researched into for many years. However one person who has challenged this is David Martin he sees that secularisation isn't taking place and there is no evidence to show that it will. Firstly the arguments I am going to look at to look into this secularisation debate are ones of institutions and seeing how they relate to the question. The modern theories on religion are mainly based on religious institutions. Bryan Wilson wanted to prove that people today didn't go to church therefore secularisation is taking place. From studying church attendance rates in Britain, he found less people went to church on Sundays, and religious occasions such as Christmas and weddings. This could be backed up by many other religions such as Roman Catholic. ...read more.


There is no social solidarity any more. So he doesn't see that secularisation is taking place either there is just no single religion to share values, people are still religious. The ecumenical movement is another religious pluralism theory. This is where there has been a unity between denominations of the Christian faith. Doesn't this reverse the religious pluralism theory? Wilson doesn't see it this way; he says that it is further evidence of secularisation. Religions only unite when they are weak therefore the Christian faith must be weak. So they join together to make them stronger. Therefore it must be evidence of secularisation. Another theory on Wilson's side is one that sects and religious cults also provide us with some evidence that secularisation is taking place. People are joining sects and cults because the religion in society is so weak it isn't helping them. This is one of the functions of religion and it can't be doing it right if people are rejecting it. This seems pretty clear evidence that religion is declining. The only problem is sects are seen as religious. World rejecting sects are the most religious of all so its just another way of putting religious pluralism, there are just different forms of religion, people aren't getting less religious. ...read more.


Science has now explained phenomenon, so things, which were mis-understood before, are now understood. So faith, which is based on trust, isn't there anymore therefore there is no need for religion as science has produced real facts. In conclusion we have seen many different views of is secularisation taking place? This however has not helped us in our answers, as there is no answer, we don't know. Every argument that was put before us had a problem. Therefore we need to look at why. This mainly because no one can agree on a definition of religion therefore how can we say if secularisation is taking place? Many problems with the research have been because many of the researchers all have their own definitions. Another fault with the question is we need to look into the future and say is secularisation going to happen, you can't do this. The only way to really solve this debate is to firstly agree on a definition of religion, or see how the role and function has changed over time. Glock and Stark tried this but again they had their own opinions of religion and how they measured things could be questioned. The question of secularisation needs to be more specific, not as general as it has been for you to solve it. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sandie Williams Is secularisation taking place? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Produce an essay identifying the different sociological approaches to secularisation with reference to Marxism, ...

    4 star(s)

    Durkheim, however, did not believe religion is condemned. He saw religion as maintaining social cohesion, transforming from a traditional religion into a new form of religion. By looking over the 19th and 20th century he saw a huge social change by industrialisation and urbanisation as a threat to religion.

  2. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    New age movements reflect these concerns as a self help religion about self discovery and personal choice. This means many people are looking to a new age movement for answers instead of influences in society. Secondly traditional norms and values are breaking down. Post modern society is characterised by relativism.

  1. Assess the nature and extent of secularization in society today. Evidence surrounding church attendance ...

    claimed that in Victorian Britain church attendance was a sign of middle class respectability to a greater extent then it is today. Many Victorians may have attended church to be seen, rather than to express deep religious convictions, this can also be applied to modern day society.

  2. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    be if someone wanted to donate their kidney they would have to think twice before taking up the process. Cultural Is when the society becomes over concerned with perfect health and makes it very difficult to build up positive attitude towards impairment and to cope appropriately with death.

  1. Race or religion? The impact of religion on the employment and earnings of Britain's ...

    has children, whether the individual has access to a car, health status, and also variables to identify ethnicity and religion. As suggested by Blackaby et al. (2001), English language fluency variables are also included. (8) Earnings equations are adjusted for sample selectivity based on the employment probit equations.

  2. Corrupt Societies

    It's the people, the government, our morals, values and our adaptive way of life. This is not just in fantasy books but in our real world as well. When I see how things have changed from when I was little I wonder how it all could have happened.

  1. Assess the view that sects and cults inevitably turn into denominations and churches. 33m

    grows it needs to be managed therefore people are put in place to manage it and as more officials are put in place a hierarchy is formed, the more hierarchical the sect is the more the members become more disconnected with the belief system and therefore it becomes more of a denomination.

  2. Assess to what extent is it true that today secularisation is a feature of ...

    All that was needed to understand them was rationality. By using reason and science and, humans could discover the laws of nature, understand and predict how the world works and control it through technology. Therefore there is no need for religious explanations of the world.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work