Religion in a Changing World: Comparative Studies in Sociology

By Madeleine Cousineau | Go to book overview

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.


REFERENCES

Ammerman Nancy T. 1991. Baptist Battles. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Berger Peter L. 1967. The Sacred Canopy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor. Demerath N. J. III. 1995. "Rational Paradigms, A-Rational Religion, and the Debate over Secularization." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 34:105-112.

-----. 1997. "Snatching Defeat from Victory in the Decline of Liberal Protestantism: Culture versus Structure in Institutional Analysis." In N. J. Demerath, Peter D. Hall, Terry N. Schmitt , and Rhys H. Williams (eds.), Sacred Companies: Organizational Aspects of Religion and Religious Aspects of Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press.

Finke Roger, and Rodney Stark. 1992. The Churching of America, 1776-1990. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Hadaway C. Kirk. 1980. "Denominational Switching and Religiosity." Review of Religious Research 21 (Supplement): 451-461.

Hadaway C. Kirk, and Penny Long Marler. 1993. "All in the Family: Religious Mobility in America." Review of Religious Research 35:97-116.

Hunter James D. 1987. Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Iannaccone Laurence R. 1991. "The Consequences of Religious Market Structure." Rationality and Society 33:156-177.

-----. 1995. "Voodoo Economics? Reviewing the Rational Choice Approach to Religion." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 34:76-89.

Newport Frank. 1979. "The Religious Switcher in the United States." American Sociological Review 44:528-552.

Roof Wade Clark, and William McKinney. 1987. American Mainline Religion. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Sherkat Darren E. 1991. "Leaving the Faith: Testing Theories of Religious Switching Using Survival Models." Social Science Research 20:171-187.

Sherkat Darren E., and John Wilson. 1995. "Preferences, Constraints, and Choices in Religious Markets: An Examination of Religious Switching and Apostasy." Social Forces 73:993-1026.

Suchman Mark C. 1992. "Analyzing the Determinants of Everyday Conversion." Sociological Analysis 53:15-33.

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