After Secularization?

After Secularization?

by Philip S. Gorski

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Overview

The study of secularization appears to be entering a new phase. Supply-side theories that focus exclusively on religious participation and membership seem too one-dimensional. But classical theories of secularization contain generalized and teleological premises that are at odds with the complexities of empirical reality and the historical record. This review seeks to map a new way forward and identify key obstacles and goals. It begins by retracing the development of secularization theory within sociology and the genealogy of the secularization concept within presociological discourse. It then reviews what is and is not known about secularization in the West, noting the limitations of the data and biases in research. The article further argues for comparative and historical approaches that incorporate non-Christian religions and non-Western regions. The social scientific literature that critically reassesses the relationship between diverse religious movements, secularisms, and liberal democracies presents new questions for future research. We stress the importance of theoretical approaches that move beyond the deeply entrenched secularist and religious assumptions and propose general guidelines for future research on the varieties of secularity.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013394261
Publisher: Annual Reviews
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: Annual Review of Sociology , #34
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 30
File size: 6 MB

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