Assess the View That Secularisation Has Been a Feature Only of Modern European Societies (33)

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Assess the view that secularisation has been a feature only of modern European societies (33) Secularisation is a concept in which there are deep and controversial debates about what it is and how it can be measured. Wilson identified secularisation into three aspects which are: religious beliefs, religious practice and religious institutions. Religious beliefs are referred to as the influence of religion on people’s values and beliefs. Religious practice are the things that people do to carry out their religious commitment and religious institutions is to what extent religious institutions have maintained their social influence in wider society. Secularisation is the decline in the influence of religion but there are a lot of other ways that it can be defined also. It is very hard to measure religion and whether it has been declining just in Europe or it has been something that is common throughout the world. It is hard to measure because of all the different issues that can be looked at such as the loss of its function, measuring the amount of disengagement and also church attendance is hard to gage as it is usually an estimate and one certain day doesn’t tell us the whole population of the people that are religious in Europe. Because of this, it is very hard to measure whether secularisation is just a feature of modern European societies. The key question is whether religion is just declining or whether it is just changing? Most sociologists agree that evidence suggests that the traditional religions are declining not just in the UK but throughout Europe. But the argument is whether it is just social change rather than a decline in religion all together. To say that secularisation is a common factor throughout the world is wrong as there is a lot of evidence to support secularisation in Europe overall, but when it comes to America, there is a lot less
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