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"Discuss the claim that Religion is in decline in modern British society."

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Introduction

Sociology of Religion "Discuss the claim that Religion is in decline in modern British society." For centuries now sociologists and great intellectuals have been prophesising the end of religion and yet it remains a huge focal point in society even today. However, although religion remains prominent in society, it no longer holds the same enigma it once did. People no longer practice their religion with passion, this however does not mean that society has no religious beliefs; a lot of people claim to believe in God, however not practice religious beliefs. Grace Davies, author of "Religion in Britain since 1945" described the English as "believing without belonging" - this shows that society still has beliefs, however chooses not to practice them to the extent others once did. Evidence supporting a decline in religion emerged in the results of a survey on religion completed by 415 respondents from KGV College in 2004. ...read more.

Middle

These figures suggest that no longer is religion in a position where people need to know details, just having faith is enough to be considered as religious - knowledge on your selected religion is less important than it was years ago. There is evidence that the importance and number of lowers of traditional religions are rapidly declining. The rules/guidelines of traditional religions are somewhat harder to follow in today's lifestyle as a result many "spin-off" religious groups are appearing. An example of such a religious group, or movement, is the "Promise Keepers" - the fastest growing religious movement in the United States today. Although the Promise keepers maintain traditional Christian beliefs, they deliver them in a more up-to-date manner - holding conferences in sports stadiums across the U.S. The rate at which the Promise Keepers continue to grow shows that people still have religious beliefs but just need a more modern way of practicing them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The supply of religion remains fairly constant, since there is a stable demand for it. Glock suggests that the secularisation thesis cannot be tested because of the failure to conceptualise religion. Empirical evidence can be used to argue both that secularisation 'is' or 'is not' occurring. Luckmann (l983) argues, "To the extent that secularisation is a myth rather than a reasonably objective sociological or historical construct, it misdirects our observations of religion as a social reality in late industrial society." It is evident that Christianity is relentlessly declining in British society, however this doesn't mean that religion as a whole is on its way out. As we can conclude from research and the growth of imported and new religious movements - Britain still very much values religion one way or another - our movement into a multi-cultural society has just lead to a more diverse selection of religions becoming available to us. Religion is now up to an individual's own interpretation where it once was not. Steven Bell MS10 ...read more.

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