Discussing the Theory Modernization as a Cause of Secularization

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Today, most people think that something has happened regarding the importance of religiosity in everyday life, but nobody is quite sure how to generalize it, or even if it can be generalized. As industrialization and modernity has increased, religion has lost some of its social significance. This has been especially troubling for sociologists. Is it simply, as the "classic theorists" of secularization said a century ago, that when a society becomes modern it becomes secular too? Does modernity necessarily imply secularity? Secularization is a process of change as a society slowly migrates from close identification with the local institutions of religion to a more clearly separated relationship with general actions. It is a controversial term because the whole idea of secularization can be confused with secularism, a philosophical and political movement that promotes the idea that society benefits by being less religious, whereas the opposing view is that the values and beliefs understood in religions support a more moral and, therefore, better society. As stated by sociologists, secularization has many levels of meaning, both as a theory and a historical process. Theoreticians such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim, postulated that the modernization of society would see a decline in levels of religiosity. The study of the process seeks to determine the manner in which, or extent to which religious doctrines, practices and institutions are losing their social significance. Both rely on the concept of a secular state: one that separates governmental and religious institutions, and bases its authority on man-made law, not in religious-doctrine. The ‘Secularization of Religion Debate’ is a conversation ... ... middle of paper ... ...e life and times of secularization theory will be turned over to historians, who might just see it as yet another example of the glaring flaw of the social sciences. Furthermore, the secularization theory emerged at roughly the same time as the field of sociology, which was, at root, preoccupied with the meaning of modernization and fashion the theory of modernization. Along with bureaucratization, rationalization, and urbanization, secularization constituted a basic part of what it meant to be modern. Is it too far fetched to think that sociology, modernity, and secularization all need each other to survive? If secularization is tossed aside as an unreliable component of what it means to be modern, what might fall away next? And if rationalization, bureaucratization, and urbanization prove unreliable what will happen? It is still ongoing, so let’s wait and see.

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