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Religion and Modernization: Sociologists and Historians Debate the Secularization Thesis
The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity itself undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy. But increasingly this "secularization thesis" is being challenged on a number of fronts. Leading sociologists and historians who share a common interest in advancing our understanding of...
The claim that modern societies are less religious than their predecessors because modernity itself undermines the plausibility of religion has been almost an orthodoxy. But increasingly this "secularization thesis" is being challenged on a number of fronts. Leading sociologists and historians who share a common interest in advancing our understanding of religious change here clarify the key elements of this thesis, testing them against appropriate data bases. The book discusses the thesis and explores such issues as church adherence in the nineteenth century in the United States Europe, the British 1851 census of church attendance, changes in English Roman Catholicism, and comparisons of American and European religiosity. 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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