Davie's Concept of Believing but Not Belonging to Religion Essay

Davie's Concept of Believing but Not Belonging to Religion Essay

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Davie's (1994) concept of ‘believing without belonging’ describes the movement away from organised religion and the increasing numbers of people who are ‘spiritual but not religious’ (Davie, 1994). It describes why people feel they no longer need to take part in religious practises, but still classify themselves as ‘Catholic’. This essay will first discuss what it means to believe, secondly the extent to which Davie's concept is applicable to the Irish context by describing the in-depth penetration of religion in history and also will suggest how the contradictory hypothesis ‘belonging without believing’ is also applicable.
Glock and Stark's (1968) multidimensional analysis of the 8 ways of being religious measures religiosity in conventional terms. It describes what it means to ‘believe’. To truly believe you must adhere to the following 8 dimensions. The first dimension is the experimental dimension; a deep connection one feels with God. The ritualistic dimension involves participation in ritual service. The devotional aspect involves private praying and faithfulness to religious teachings. The belief dimension refers to the degree to which a person agrees with the beliefs of the group. The knowledge dimension refers to knowing these beliefs and rituals of the group. The consequential dimension has to do with how religion impacts behaviours and attitudes in everyday life. The communal aspect refers to amount of friends and family one has in the same denomination. Particularism is a measure of the extent to which one believes that one's own faith offers the only hope of salvation (Roberts, 2003). In the Irish modern society to be religious, as reported by Glock and Stark, is an increasingly difficult task. Typically Irish people...


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...rnal of Contemporary Religion, Volume 22(2), pp. 205-220.
Mohler, A., 2007. Crosswalk. [Online]
Available at: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/the-trend-of- believing-without-belonging-11536808.html
[Accessed 2013 12 07].
O’Sullivan, D., 2005. Cultural Politics and Irish Education since the 1950’s: Policies, paradigms and power. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
O'Doherty, M., 2008. Empty Pulpits: Ireland’s retreat from Religion. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Roberts, K.,2003. Implications of One's Definition of Religion for Conducting for Research. Religion in Sociological Perspective, Volume 4: Wadsworth Publishing.
Stark, R and Glock, C., 1968. American Piety: The Nature of Religious Commitment. Berkeley.
Walsh, W., 1999. Religion in Ireland- Past, present and future: The church in the new Millennium. Dublin: The Columbia Press.

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