Bryan Wilson"Secularization: The Inherited Model"
What is secularization? "the process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose social significance."
Premise: "increasing dominance of scientific, technical, & practical over emotional & moral" (18).
Two challenges to premise
Distinction between "secularization" and "secularism":
Essence of Secularization: "a process of transfer of property, power, activities, and both manifest and latent functions, from institutions with a supernaturalist frame of reference to (often new) institutions operating according to empirical, rational, pragmatic criteria."
What secularization model doesnt do: specify pace or details of process. Nor does it claim religion will completely disappear.
What it does claim: religions social influence will decline (see pp. 14-15 for nutshell)
Berger: "From Crisis of Religion to Crisis of Secularity
Thesis: in addition to a crisis of religious meaning there is also a crisis of secular meaning. Crisis of secularity consists in difficulty modern secularity has in providing an "anthropodicy"
Modern secularity is only one view among others.
"Knowledge class" as carriers of modern secularity.
Problematic: "passage from religious pluralism to moral pluralism."
Main point: moral pluralism challenges moral cohesion of society.
Claim: religion, & moral consensus only religion can foster, is necessary to societys political & sociological health.
Critique of Berger:
1) His position is ultimately ambiguous because it posits a unitary moral consensus underlying a cultural free market marked by denominational civility instead of ravaged by the moral relativism he wants very much to avoid.
2) He doesnt demonstrate religion is sole source of "a binding common morality."
Bergers self-described "Big Mistake" and Bergers "Big Insight"
Casanova: "Secularization, Enlightenment, & Modern Religion"
Three key meanings secularization:
Secularization as concept: break down of dualistic world view of "this world" & "the other world."
Central thesis of secularization theory: modernization as process of functional differentiation & emancipation of secular spheresprimarily state, economy, & sciencefrom religious sphere & subsequent differentiation & specialization of religion in its own sphere, i.e., the differentiation thesis.
Two subtheses: decline & privatization.
Three phases of "capitalist secularization":
Western Europe offers empirical evidence of decline but United States offers evidence of growth.
How is this contrast to be explained? American religion is so secularized that it really isnt religion & America is an exception that confirms the European rule.
What really needs explanation, according to Casanova, is refusal of Europeans & social scientists to take seriously counterevidence in America.
Critique of Privatization thesis: privatization thesis becomes problematic when "turned into a prescriptive normative theory of how religious institutions ought to behave."
Three key elements of Enlightenment critique of religion:
"Public religions" represent new forms of social criticism of modern world which "presuppose individual freedoms & differentiated structures" (Casanova 1994: 38, 214-215, 220-222).
It is not that religions should have prime role in integrating society morally. Casanova argues, rather, that religions should be permittedin public squareto call into question pretensions of modern state & economy to function without regard to moral norms or human & environmental considerations (Casanova 1994: 43).
Most important: in order to be in position to contribute effectively to revitalization of public culture, religions have to incorporate Enlightenment critique of tradition & abide by "sacred values of modernity, that is, human life and freedom" (Casanova 1994: 223, 233).