Bruce, S (2002) God is Dead, Oxford, Wiley, Blackwell Publishing.
The occurrence and prominence of secularization has become a prevalent feature of contemporary Western society. Steve Bruce’s Book titled ‘God is Dead’, as it may be controversial outlines the debate of surrounding secularization and its occurrence. His argument is put forward in an academically stimulating and compelling way in his exploration of secularization; by building on the work of key sociological thinkers mainly Durkheim, Marx and Weber to looking at contemporary sociological thinkers such as David Martin, Abercrombie and Turner. By examining their explanations and theories of secularization and also exploring his own views I feel makes his argument plausible. Furthermore another reason as to why this book is beneficial to the debate of secularization is down to the fact that his ideas, theories and explanations are backed up with the use of factual evidence in the form of statistics, historical and contemporary world examples is also another contributing factor which strengthens this book. His exploration of Christianity and religion in the West and the East but also New Age Movements makes for a challenging and compelling read. However the assumptions and choices of phrasing made by Bruce make this book problematic as these statements are phrased in a way which may cause offence to readers and this is seen in statements such as ‘the tension between the official teachings of the Church and the bastardized magical and superstitious uses to which the common people put what they took from Christianity’ (Pg.58).
The first chapter of God is Dead lays the foundation for his core argument. The secularization paradigm Bruce ...
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... By building on the work of traditional but also contemporary sociological thinkers makes his work even more credible. Through his use of contemporary religious examples whether conflicts, or religious organisations makes his argument convincing. However I do not believe that secularization is a process that cannot be reversed, on the contrary in the face of social change, technological and scientific innovations ,Religion has proved to be a force to be reckoned with and this is seen with the idea of religious revivals specifically fundamentalist groups who seek to take society back to a time where it was religious but also the idea that individuals do not necessarily have to attend religious places of worship or affiliate themselves within one group and may practice religion privately which highlights a key problem with statistics in terms of measuring religiosity.
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