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Secularism: The Decline of Religion?

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Catalogue Number:  STV032
Producer:  Shortcutstv Ltd
Subject:  Documentary, Family Studies/Home Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  U.K.
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  8:26

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Secularisation - the idea that as societies modernize they become less-religious in outlook and governance - is a key concept in the Sociology of Religion that has, in recent times, undergone a range of re-evaluations.

This film, featuring contributions from three of the UK’s foremost sociologists of religion (Prof. Eileen Barker, Prof. Linda Woodhead and Prof Bronislaw Szerszynski), introduces students to a slightly-different take on the concept of secularisation by looking at it in two ways:

Firstly, by questioning the over-easy assumption that in pre-modernity, "religion was everywhere” whereas in modernity it is "almost nowhere”.

Secondly, by looking at contemporary research evidence that suggests religion, rather than simply "disappearing”, may be undergoing a process of diversification: one that has seen a marked decline in orthodox measures of secularisation, from falling attendance at religious services to the organizational disengagement of the Church from secular governance, allied to a revival in various forms of spirituality - from yoga through witchcraft to a variety of New Age "spiritual therapies”.

This film is designed to introduce students to the general concept of secularisation, its relationship to modernization and a range of evaluative points that can be brought to bear in any discussion of secularisation.

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