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2. Secularisation and Sociology in the Twentieth Century
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the development of secularisation theories in post-Second World War period, focusing particularly on three key sociologists: (i) Peter Berger, who, early in his career, argued that secularisation was inevitable in increasingly pluralistic societies, as diversity undermines the plausibility of religion; (ii) Bryan Wilson, who advocated the “strong” version of the secularisation thesis – that secularisation was a necessary concomitant of modernity; (iii) David Martin, who offered a more nuanced understanding that secularisation is not an abstract, universal phenomenon, but unfolds differently in different contexts.
In this course, Professor Grace Davie (University of Exeter) explores thinking about secularisation and religion in Sociology. In the first module, we think about the centrality of secularisation in the theories of three “founding fathers” of the discipline – Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim. The second and third modules examine the development of secularisation theory in the twentieth century, including the “strong” version outlined by Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce, and the context-specific approach advocated by David Martin and Professor Davie. In the fourth module, we consider global perspectives which challenge the idea of secularisation, before turning in the fifth to whether it is necessary to rethink previous ideas about religion and secularisation. In the final module, we look at some important current trends and think about possible futures for religion.
Professor Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Exeter. She is a leading sociologist of religion and has written widely on religion in the modern world. Her publications include Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground (2017), Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (2015), and The Sociology of Religion: A Critical Agenda (2013).
Cite this Lecture
Davie, G. (2022, January 14). Secularisation and Religion in Sociology - Secularisation and Sociology in the Twentieth Century [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/secularisation-and-religion-in-sociology/secularisation-and-sociology-in-the-twentieth-century
Davie, G. "Secularisation and Religion in Sociology – Secularisation and Sociology in the Twentieth Century ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jan 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/secularisation-and-religion-in-sociology/secularisation-and-sociology-in-the-twentieth-century