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Modern Britain As A Secular Society

1241 words - 5 pages

Modern Britain as a Secular Society Modern Britain is a secular society . To what extent do sociological
arguments and evidence agree with this view

In this essay I will look at the work of various sociologists and
analyze and evaluate them to see what extent they agree with the fact
that modern Britain is secular society.

Martin 1978 believes that the term secularization has become almost
meaningless because everyone has different interpretations of it. He
also feel that other sociologists work is highly influenced by their
own views and ideas. Martin found that the degree of religious
pluralism in society , the relationship between state and religion
and the extent to which religion helps provide a sense of national or
regional ethnicity the three main factors which determine the strength
of religion in a modern society. Furthermore he found religion
continues to flourish in societies where there is a high degree of
religious pluralism, also a strong relationship between religion and
nationalism and strong in under developed countries. Martins
evaluation of secularization was that religion was no longer
associated with the rich and elite and had been accepted by more
people in lower classes. In addition he believed rationalism had lost
its appeal and there was increasing interest in the super natural
etc.

Durkheim was one of the first to point to the connection between
religion and other forms of knowledge. He claimed that it was through
religion that humans first attempted to interpret the world and that
it is from religion that other ways of thinking, such as science,
evolved. Furthermore he emphasized the functional role of religion as
an integrating mechanism in any society. In this respect, the "decline
of religion" was seen by Durkheim to be probable, but not inevitable
it would only decline in significance if other institutional
mechanisms arose in society to take over its basic functions. He
believed that there was something eternal about religion but did
anticipate a decline however he still believed it would commonly exist
in simple societies.

Marx, on the other hand, theorized the disappearance of religion with
the beginning of a communist society. In terms of Marx's basic
theoretical position, therefore, the disappearance of religion was as
inevitable as the appearance of communism. However, in Capitalist
societies, Marx argued that religious influence was linked to the
material conditions under which people existed since religious belief
provided both an ideological legitimation of Capitalist exploitation
and a form of relief from economic degradation. Weber believed that
religion would decline through the process of...

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