What the Secularization Paradigm really says

  • Steve Bruce


Especially in the United States, the secularization paradigm has acquired in the sociology of religion a status similar to that of functionalism in the 1970s: it is assumed that all right thinking people are against it. Novice scholars begin their apprentice papers with ritual denunciations of it. I must say that, though I am often cited as an exemplar of the manifest errors of the secularization approach, I rarely recognise my views in such summaries. What I want to do in this presentation is explain what I believe the secularization paradigm entails and clarify what it predicts for various forms of religion in the western world. Obviously I will have to pass over much detail but my views are elaborated at length elsewhere (Bruce 1996; 2002).


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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Bruce

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