Assessing the View that Religion is in Decline in Modern British Society
For centuries now sociologists and great intellectuals have been
prophesising the end of religion and yet it remains a huge focal point
in society even today. However, although religion remains prominent in
society, it no longer holds the same enigma it once did. People no
longer practice their religion with passion, this however does not
mean that society has no religious beliefs; a lot of people claim to
believe in God, however not practice religious beliefs. Grace Davies,
author of "Religion in Britain since 1945" described the English as
"believing without belonging" - this shows that society still has
beliefs, however chooses not to practice them to the extent others
Evidence supporting a decline in religion emerged in the results of a
survey on religion completed by 415 respondents from KGV College in
2004. The data collected showed that 62% of respondents never attended
church regularly and 66% of respondents disagreed with the statement
"Religion makes life better". These results somewhat match national
statistics, only 33% of the British population actually consider
Religion to be important and 17% of the population responded that
religion was one of the most significant factors in their lives.
Peoples own experience, parents, education and friends come first.
From these statistics alone we can clearly see that society doesn't
value religion as being important. One problem with statistics that
have derived from polls is that the results can usually be false,
research has shown that people tend to lie on opinion polls -
comparing actual church attendance figures to statistics collected on
church attendance shows that actual attendance figures are much less.
In data collected from a Mori poll in August 2003, only 55% of the
English population could name one of the four Christian Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Slightly more, 60% could name the
sacred text of Muslims - The Koran. These figures suggest that no
longer is religion in a position where people need to know details,
just having faith is enough to be considered as religious - knowledge
on your selected religion is less important than it was years ago.
There is evidence that the importance and number of lowers of
traditional religions are rapidly declining. The rules/guidelines of
traditional religions are somewhat harder to follow in today's
lifestyle as a result many "spin-off" religious groups are appearing.
An example of such a religious group, or movement, is the "Promise
Keepers" - the fastest growing religious movement in the United...