The Decline of Religion?
Secularisation—the idea that as societies modernise they becomes less religious in outlook and governance—is a key concept in the sociology of religion that has, in recent times, undergone a range of re-evaluations. This film, featuring contributions from three of the UK's foremost sociologists of religion, introduces students to a slightly different take on the concept of secularisation by looking at it in two ways: Firstly, by questioning the over-easy assumption that in pre-modernity, "religion was everywhere” whereas in modernity it is "almost nowhere”. Secondly, by looking at contemporary research evidence that suggests religion, rather than simply "disappearing”, may be undergoing a process of diversification: one that has seen a marked decline in orthodox measures of secularisation, from falling attendance at religious services to the organisational disengagement of the Church from secular governance, allied to a revival in various forms of spirituality—from yoga through witchcraft to a variety of New Age "spiritual therapies”. The film is designed to introduce students to the general concept of secularisation, its relationship to modernisation and a range of evaluative points that can be brought to bear in any discussion of secularisation.
Production Year: 2021
Duration: 8 min
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