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The Secularization of the Western World Essay

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Secularization is a controversial form of social change in modern day society. Secularization is a concept derived from a Latin word meaning “the present age,” the term is generally associated with modern, technologically, and advanced societies. “Secularism is a political tradition that has been evolving for eighteenth centuries. It shares important relationships with other traditions, sustaining complex ties with Judeo-Christianity, and maintaining a long-standing relationship with Islam” ( Hurd, 2004). The term secular has taken on many different meaning through history. The earliest references can be traced to the 13th century, when the notion of the saeculum arose in reference to a binary opposition within Christianity. Priests who withdrew from the world (saeculum) formed the religious clergy, while those living in the world formed the secular clergy (Casanova, 1994). The notion of the ‘secular’ has taken on a range of different meanings over the past eighteen centuries. In today society, the world secular is used to describe a world thought to be in motion, the moving away from religious influence in everyday life.
Thus, my definition of the term secularism is not denouncing religion to an anti-religious belief but rather viewing secularism as a point of view that reflects the change in society to seek answers and meet the needs of people without taking on religious perspective. “The shift towards secularism does not mean that Christian symbols and values ceased to play an important role in Western culture and political life but rather increases emphasis on reason and scientific investigation even of scriptures- it did not diminish Christians faith” (Willard G., Oxtoby & Alan F. Segal, 2007, p 181). Secularism relies more...


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...iefs and practices. For example people were able to not believe or believe in God. The world looks less and less to religious rule and rituals for its morality or its meaning. For many individual religions is a mark of one’s cultural or ethnic identity.
Secularization does not signal for the removal of religion, in today society where other religions are losing members, others are gaining. There is a decrease in Anglican and Presbyterian denomination.


Works Cited


Pannenberg, W, (2005). Notes on Alleged conflict between Religion and Science.

Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 40(3), 585-588.doi:1111

Vyacheslav, K, (2010). Desecularization: A Conceptual Frame work. Retrieved from November 3, 2011 from JProquest ournal of Church and State, p.232dr

Casanova, José (1994) Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.


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