Church And The United Kingdom

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established church could be defined as post-Christian (ibid). Therefore, countries like Denmark and The United Kingdom can be described as post-Christian meaning that the majority of the population in these countries used to, but no longer identify as being Christian. Furthermore, I echo Paas’ (2011:10) important distinction that a post-Christian society is not a synonym for a secular society. This is because a country may be secular, but not necessarily post-Christian or even non-religious. Habermas et al (2008:21) takes the position that in a post-secular society, religion still maintains a public influence and relevance, whilst the secularisation thesis assumption that religion will disappear through modernisation is tentative. Post-Christian societies describe a particular era of the secularisation process and thus could be applied to the United Kingdom where non-religion is rapidly increasing and Christianity is changing. Secularisation is understood here as a de-institutionalisation. However, other societies and countries like Estonia that are further in the process of secularisation and as such would not be considered a Christian country may not be best fitted. One of the best clarifications can be found nearly four decades ago from Alan Gilbert. Gilbert (1980: ix) defines a post-Christian society as, ‘not one from which Christianity has departed, but one in which it has become marginal. It is a society where to be irreligious is to be normal, where to think and act in secular terms is to be conventional, where neither status nor respectability depends upon the practice or profession of religious faith. Some members of such a society continue to find Christianity a profound, vital influence in their lives, but in doing so... ... middle of paper ... like the Church of England to attract attendees. Whether, they go down the road of a ‘secular spirituality’ or the 2016 buzzword of wellbeing, they will need to change with each generation to create a different bind. The Sunday Assembly have tapped into a small population of Generation X and Y who have largely grown up with some degree of religious tradition, but, who have now largely left behind their religious upbringing, but still romanticise about ‘belonging without believing’ to a non-religious community. As sociologists, we know that non-religion is ‘sticky’ and thus non-religious parents will have non-religious children. However, what this new generation of millennials and beyond seek will be a new challenge to the Sunday Assembly. The format of the current structure resembling a modern Christian church may become just as alien as it is to those in Japan.

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