Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis

Hardcover | July 1, 1994

EditorSteve BruceAs told byBruce

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The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy. But increasingly this `secularization thesis' is being challenged on a number of fronts. This collection brings together leading sociologists and historians who share a common interest in advancing our understanding of religious change by clarifying the key elements of the thesis and testing them against appropriate bodies of data. The book begins with an exposition of the thesis by two sociologists and goes on to present and interpret new data on church adherence in the nineteenth century in the USA and Europe, British church membership rates for the last two hundred years and the British 1851 census of church attendance,changes in English Roman Catholicism, and comparisons of American and European religiosity. The collection is completed with a response by Bryan Wilson, for many the chief advocate of the secularization account of religious change. Even where historians and sociologists cannot agree, Religion and Modernization has the great value of clarifying the arguments and pointing the way toward their resolution.

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From the Publisher

The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy. But increasingly this `secularization thesis' is being challenged on a number of fronts. This collection brings together leading sociologists and historians who share a comm...

From the Jacket

The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy, but increasingly this 'secularization thesis' is being challenged on a number of fronts. This collection brings together leading sociologists and historians who share a commo...

Steve Bruce is at University of Aberdeen.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:236 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:July 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019827369X

ISBN - 13:9780198273691

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`This volume cogently sets out the current state of the debate ... I can only renews unqualified commendation of this volume.'British Journal of Sociology