Secularisation means the process through which religion declines over time, however, the definition has been scrutinised, as for instance some state that role of religion is losing influence, while others emphasise on the personal belief and participation. This will be explored in different ways throughout this essay, on how secular Britain has become.
In some ways, Britain has become more secular according to some theorists such as Crockett who argues that in 1851, 40% of the adult population attended church, while during 2005 only 6.3% of the population attended church on Sundays. In addition the belief of God has declined; this is supported by Gill et al, who compiled national surveys, of which shows that nearly all of them show a decline of a belief in God. Bruce also supports that secularisation is becoming more prevalent in Britain as religion is no longer an influential institution anymore; for example, Religion once affected every aspect of life, but now is positioned in the private sphere of individual and family. Therefore this shows that Religion is no longer plays a huge aspect on individual’s life anymore, and this could be a factor for why Britain is becoming a secular society. Alternatively it can be argued that even though Britain is becoming a secular society, in general these points fail to place emphasis that more people claim they hold Christian beliefs then actually go to church-Davie, furthermore there is still religious influence through some institutions such as an increase of faith schools, however they are mainly state funded and must conform to state regulations, for example teachers must possess state recognised qualifications.
A first explanation for secularisation in Britain is Rationalism, in which rational ways of thinking replaces religious ones. Weber states that with in this process society has become disenchanted with fairy tale stories of angels and a miraculous-intervening God, thus pointing to a transcendent God and laws of nature being established. This is supported by Bruce who states that the technological worldview has largely replaced religious explanations of why things happen; since in this case Britain, technology is prevalent, and thus allows people to access information through the internet.
Parsons also states that structural differentiation, which links to industrialisation, has caused religion to lose many functions, while in comparison in to pre-industrial society Religion once dominated. Thus education with in Britain is secular, which this is supported by Durkheim, whom states that with education teaching to increasing extent of moral values, religion might lose influence.
Berger argues that religious diversity has caused, secularisation, such as for instance Christianity and Islam accounts of miracles being incompatible, especially for instance Britain being a Multi-Faith society; it could be therefore be difficult comprehend of which version is the truth, and thus cause secularisation in Britain.
Bruce however seems to contradict secularisation theory through cultural defence, of which religion strengthens the defence of certain ethnic groups and cultural transition, of which religion gives a sense of a community for ethnic groups.
Some sociologists however, argue that even though traditional beliefs of religion is declining, new forms of beliefs are elevating, for instance the holistic milieu, of which Heelas and Woodhead argued that in 2000 7.9% of the population attended church, while 1.6% took part in spiritual activities, of which this was growing. Holistic milieu has increased due to its heavy emphasis on personal development, while on the contrary religion demanded commitment. However, even though holistic milieu has increased, it still does not compensate of religion declining. This therefore shows that Britain is still becoming a secular society, despite the fact the holistic milieu increasing.
To conclude, there is some ways presented for instance the decline of religious attendance, which conveys that potentially Britain is becoming a secular society; however it is worth note that new forms of beliefs, e.g. “Spirituality”, may show some potential that certain individuals are not giving up on belief and rather seeking personal development and experience.
Is this alright for a 18 mark essay on "asses the arguments and evidence for the view that Britain is becoming a secular society" and if possible a mark/improvements
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- Thread Starter
- 03-10-2015 15:07
- 03-10-2015 23:11
Hey which exam board/ unit is this for?
Is it AQA A2 "beliefs in society" ??Last edited by Guardianbright; 03-10-2015 at 23:12.
- Thread Starter
- 03-10-2015 23:35
- 03-10-2015 23:59