Arguments surrounding the Secularization Theory

With characteristic gleeful verve, Rodney Stark assaults secularization theory in his .

Secularization Thesis | Peter J. Leithart | First Things

One must decide what to test before deciding how to test it. Because the two great myths attributed to the secularizationists by their critics are by their nature overblown, they are not hard to puncture. Debating the matter at such mythical levels lends an all-or-nothing quality to the dispute: Insofar as the thesis fails to document a shift from all to nothing, it is suspect. However, no recent secularization theorists stake their claim in those terms.

Bruce, Steve. 2002. God is Dead: Secularization in the West. Blackwell Publishers.

Secularization thesis - Conservapedia

The strongest manifestation of the secularization thesis in IR was that religion – scientifically, sociologically, politically and institutionally – was to be left in the pre-modern ages. This is the leading reason for the inadequacy of IR’s current paradigmatic thinking to identify religion as a part of modern political life. The current developments in the international arena demonstrate that initiating an interdisciplinary reconceptualization of religion as an international entity is required. Nevertheless, students of IR should not underestimate how misleading, discriminative and destructive it would be to reinvent religion in its pre-modern form, which easily invites one into the historic trap of redrawing in-eliminable barriers between imaginary religious borders.

With characteristic gleeful verve, Rodney Stark assaults secularization theory in his .

Differentiation takes different forms and exacts different tolls. The Belgian scholar Dobbelaere (1981) draws a parallel between secularization and the French term ”laicization,” which Durkheim and others used to denote a loss of priestly control, with a consequent decanonization of religion. While developing the concept for European settings, Dobbelaere draws two sets of distinctions: between the processes of differentiation, decline, and change (1981) and between the levels of the individual, the organization, and the society (Dobbelaere 1985).

Secularization Thesis


Secularization refers to the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance. As a result of secularization the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted. In secularized societies faith lacks cultural authority, and religious organizations have little social power.Secularization refers to the historical process in which religion loses social and cultural significance. As a result of secularization the role of religion in modern societies becomes restricted. In secularized societies faith lacks cultural authority, and religious organizations have little social power.The term also has additional meanings, primarily historical and religious. Applied to property, historically it refers to the seizure of monastic lands and buildings, such as 's in England and the later acts during the as well as by various European governments during the 18th and 19th centuries, which resulted in the expulsion and suppression of the religious communities which occupied them (see ). Otherwise, secularization involves the abandonment of goods by the Church where it is sold to purchasers after the seizes the property, which most commonly happens after reasonable negotiations and arrangements are made.In a sense, this transformation was a desirable one for true scientism, which is expected to deny ‘wearing glasses’ of mere subjectivity under the shadow of religious or cultural prejudices. Otherwise, it would have forced one to try to justify the scientifically unjustifiable in many circumstances. Within this context, the added value of secularization was apparent in its endeavour to free the social sciences from “the irrationality of belief” (Taylor, 2007: 269), as the secular mind confers the required value-freedom upon the scientist. However, this mind-set eliminates religious prejudices with the cost of bringing prejudices of its own. The following chapters are on the secularization thesis with its own prejudices.The term also has additional meanings, primarily historical and religious. Applied to property, historically it refers to the seizure of monastic lands and buildings, such as 's in England and the later acts during the as well as by various European governments during the 18th and 19th centuries, which resulted in the expulsion and suppression of the religious communities which occupied them (see ). Otherwise, secularization involves the abandonment of goods by the Church where it is sold to purchasers after the seizes the property, which most commonly happens after reasonable negotiations and arrangements are made.If nothing fundamentally challenged the conventional, secularized notion of modern international politics for a very long period of time, the events of 9/11 certainly did. As noted previously, secularization in the form of religious decline was the grandiose prediction of modernization. As first demonstrated with the Iranian Revolution, then with post-Cold War ethnic and religious conflicts, and eventually with the events of 9/11, religion does not survive today solely as a pre-modern phenomenon. It has already been explained that assuming it as thus has been among the remnants of the secularization thesis. This persisted until the post-Cold War crises of identity finally forced new approaches to be embraced; approaches that, in contrast to the mainstream arguments, do not have the analytical tools to revisit this identity crisis. For instance, an analytical distinction between modernity and modernism has been made in relation to religious fundamentalism: religious fundamentalists have been against the ideology of modernism, but this does not make them substantively pre-modern (Lawrence, 1989). In the same vein, Abrahamian (1993) demonstrated through that the leading Islamic figures, such as Khomeini and bin Laden, are able to carry characteristics from the modern world alongside a populist reference to Islamic traditions. With this awareness in mind, cross-cultural scholars tried to eliminate the general tendency of black-boxing all religions with respect to their societal and institutional essences ( Haynes, 1994). These attempts aimed to bring religion back into the borders of ‘normal’, so that studies of religion may operate under the discipline.and period effects of secularization on the risk ofleaving a faith, using life-event data from the Dutch Family Survey. The results suggestthe current level of secularization increases the risk of becoming unchurched.What accounts for cross-national variation in asmeasured by church attendance and non-religious rates? Examining answers from bothsecularization theory and the religious economy perspective.