secular, it alerts us to some important aspects and interactions within the religious experience that are sometimes overlooked.
Finally, what about the secularization hypothesis itself? Actually it makes a difference whether the term is defined in terms of product or process. If secularization as product envisions a completely secular society marked by religious extinction, there is no question that the hypothesis is false. On the other hand, if secularization as process means only the tendency for every sacred commitment to undergo change, demystification, and a loss of saliency over time, there is no question that the hypothesis is true. But as so often happens, the two warring concepts here are more complementary than contradictory. Secularization and sacralization are two key processes in human history generally. Each responds to each other in a never-ending oscillation. The dynamic between them applies not only to religion but also to that wider range of sacred phenomena that make social life meaningful in its broadest sense.
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Publication information: Book title: Religion in a Changing World:Comparative Studies in Sociology. Contributors: Madeleine Cousineau - Editor. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 9.
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