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Secularisation and Religion in Sociology

6. The Future of Religion

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about how religion might develop in the future, focusing in particular on: (i) the evidence that some countries in the West, including Britain, are indeed becoming more secular, such as the rise of the “nones”; (ii) the impact of immigration in bringing greater religious diversity and making religion a major issue in the public sphere; (iii) the growing importance of virtual spaces in religious life, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; (iv) the relationship between religious belief and vaccination during the pandemic.


In this course, Professor Grace Davie (University of Exeter) explores thinking about secularisation and religion in Sociology. In the first lecture, we think about the centrality of secularisation in the theories of three “founding fathers” of the discipline – Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Émile Durkheim. In the second lecture, we examine the development of secularisation theory in the twentieth century, including the “strong” version outlined by Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce. In the third lecture, we think about the context-specific approach advocated by David Martin and Professor Davie. Next, we consider global perspectives which challenge the idea of secularisation. In the fifth lecture, we consider whether it is necessary to rethink previous ideas about religion and secularisation. In the sixth and final lecture, 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

APA style

Davie, G. (2022, January 14). Secularisation and Religion in Sociology - The Future of Religion [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Davie, G. "Secularisation and Religion in Sociology – The Future of Religion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jan 2022,

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