Secularization Essay

552 words - 2 pages


The word secularization is derived from the Latin word saeculum(world) it was first used to refer the transfer of property from the church to the civil princes. Now it denotes the process by which religion loses some or all of its power, dominance and authority. Secularization as a concept refers to the actual historical process whereby this dualist system “ this world'; and the sacramental structures of mediation between this world and the other world progressively breakdown until the entire medieval systems of classification disappear, to be replaced by new systems of spatial structuration of the spheres. The structured division of 'this world'; into two separate spheres, 'the religious'; and 'the secular'; has to be distinguished and kept separate. From now on, there will be only one single 'this world';, the secular one, within which religion will have to find its own place. If before, it was the religious realm which appeared to be the all-encompassing reality within which the secular realm found its proper place, now the secular sphere will be the all-encompassing within which religious sphere will have to adapt.

There are several conceptions of secularization.
1. Decline of religion
2. Differentiation of institution, practices and activities from religion
3. Transposition of norms from religion to the world
4. Desacralization of the world
5. Conformity of religion to the world
There are also causes of secularization
1. Industrialization
2. Urbanization
3. Some beliefs and practices in Christianity may have fostered some forms of secularization
The Three separate moments of secularization

The core and central thesis of the theory of secularization is the conceptualization of the process of societal modernization as a process of functional differentiation and emancipation of the secular sphere from the religious sphere and the concomitant differentiation and specialization of religion...

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