PLS 315-01

Theoretical models for REL in PLS

  • secularization thesis
    • religion diminishes in importance to society
    • descriptive meaning: process of change driven by modernization
      • dramatic effects on place of religion in society
      • centrality of faith in life diminishes (from public to private)
      • alienation from/differentiation of intellectual pursuits from REL
      • scientific explanations dominate, greater explanatory power
    • predictive: as societies modernize, REL will eventually fade out
      • Marx, Freud, Durkheim
  • culture war thesis
    • consequence of secularization
    • society divided into 2 hostile camps
      • Conservative
        • traditionalist
        • defend public role of REL
        • critical of secularization
      • Liberal/Progressive
        • some are completely secular
        • some are deeply religious
        • religion seen as private matter
        • “spiritual not religious” common
    • Pat Buchanan culture war speech, 1992 GOP convention

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