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Is There A Decline In Religion...In Today's Society?

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Introduction

Is There A Decline In Religion... In Today's Society? Contents Page 3- Rationale Page 4-7 Contexts Page 8-10 Methodology Page 11-13 Pilot Survey Page 14-16 Questionnaires Page 17-22 Evidence Page 23-24 Evaluation/Conclusion Page 25 Bibliography Rationale The word 'secular' means 'non-religious' and the secularisation thesis is simply the suggestion that religion and religious beliefs are of declining importance both in society and for the individual. This subject has intrigued me because I am curious to find out: * To what extent does it claim that if people do not attend church regularly, it indicates a reduction in religiosity * Why these claims have been put forward by certain sociologists * Why no one has found an answer to whether or not religion is in decline * Why the evidence found by sociologists contradict each others findings The relevant areas of secularisation can be examined in terms of three aspects: * Religious thinking-the influence of religion on people's beliefs and values * Religious practice-such as the levels of church membership and church attendance * Religious institutions-the extent to which churches and other religious institutions have maintained their social influence and wealth The main difficulty with deciding whether secularisation has taken place is how religion and religious belief are defined and measured. For example: * Is church attendance a good way of measuring how much religious belief there is in society? * Does going to church mean you really believe in God? * Can you be religious without attending religious ceremonies? All the above problems suggest that being part of something cannot determine the way you are feeling. I believe this project will emphasise the fact that statistics cannot measure the fact that someone is religious. It merely indicates what is happening on the outside not what is in the inside. Word Count-253 Context One of the most influential supporters of the secularisation thesis is Bryan Wilson who defines secularisation as: "The process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose their social significance" He suggests ...read more.

Middle

From this it will enable me to understand and categorise individuals and their knowledge based on their age. Word Count-670 Pilot Survey I am an A Level Sociology student. I am carrying out a survey to find out what your views on secularisation are (decline in religion). I would be most obliged if you would take part in this research. All your answers will be confidential. Please circle the appropriate answer. Thank You 1) Are you Male Female 2) What age group do you fall under? Under 16 16-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 Over 50 3) Do you believe in God? Yes No 4) What is your religion? Islam Christianity Sikhism Hinduism Judaism Buddhism Other (please state) This question applies to those who are recommended to attend a religious institution (e.g.: men in Islam) If this doesn't apply to you go to Q6... 5) How many times a week do you attend a religious institution? (i.e.: mosque, church, temple, synagogue etc) Never 1-2 3-4 5-6 Everyday 6) Do you pray at home? If No go to Q7 Yes No If yes how many times a week? 1-2 3-4 5-6 Everyday 7) Below are a set of questions to test your religious knowledge... (Please circle one answer and remember all answers are strictly confidential) i) Whom did God tell to build an ark? David Adam Noah Jonah ii) Which religion has the Koran as its sacred book? Islam Christianity Buddhism Judaism iii) Which religion celebrates Diwali? Judaism Hinduism Christianity Buddhism iv) Which is the holy book of the Sikh faith? Torah Bible Guru Granth Psalms 8) How would you rate your religious belief in a scale of 1 to 10? (1=lowest 10=highest 'please mark a point') If you do not wish to answer this question please move to Q9 1 5 10 9) What are your views on religion on a hold? (i.e.: explain whether or not you see religion as a good or bad force for society) ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the choice of investigation using questionnaires was suitable; because my questions related to my context items, therefore I was able to find out respondents views on the decline of religion. This ensured I would be analysing the lost 'realistic' data. However, having more Muslim participants in my questionnaire meant that I was unable to analyse a range of beliefs from various religions. I could extend my investigation by looking at different variables/ I could interview professional clergy i.e.: Imam, priest, rabbi etc. For example, a priest can give his/her view to whether or not they believe religion will be extinct by the year 2030, and see what the Imam and Rabbi think about all the views of religion declining. This means that I would have got a series of opinions and this would have allowed me to analyse what individual in our society believe and what leaders of worship believe. Nevertheless, looking at my questionnaire I should've given the respondents more choice when it came to open-ended questions. For example Q11 I stated yes/no I should've then given a choice of "don't know". This would have meant the respondents are in no pressure to answer this question. Overall I believe the structure of my investigation has allowed me to come to a fair conclusion that: Statistics can't frame the fact that there are low levels of religiosity; individuals do not need to attend a place of worship to distinguish their belief. Even if there is a decline in Christianity this does not mean that there is a decline in religion on the whole. High profile religions like Islam are becoming widespread over the world. Conclusion In conclusion I believe to an extent my aim was correct in the state that we can't rely on statistics to measure religiosity, and that there is a wide religiosity among the older generation in society. Nevertheless, it is clearly evident that this investigation has aroused many thoughts that there is no answer to whether or not religion is in decline. There are always two points of views to back up each argument. ...read more.

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