Journal Article

Secularization in a Context of Advanced Modernity

Liliane Voyé

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 60, issue 3, pages 275-288
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Secularization in a Context of Advanced Modernity

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In Europe, the general trend of secularization continues. It is attested by the loss of authority of the Catholic church on the societal level and in societal subsystems. This trend is confirmed by the decline of personal religiosity (beliefs, church practice, and moral attitudes). However, the situation is more complex than that: some paradoxes should be stressed. Not infrequently religious authorities are considered to be experts on ethical matters and are requested by civil authorities to give advice; popular religious practices are re-legitimized; at different territorial levels, Catholicism — and to a lesser extent other Christian religions — is invoked to affirm the specific identity of a city, a region, and even of Europe. The courts now-a-days sometimes take into account religious identities and their particularistic exigences and characteristics. Consequently, religious institutions — and most specifically the Catholic church — appear to be a resource used on the levels of the society, subsystems, and the individual. However, its impact is subject to the fact that its specific religious character — to wit its doctrine and specific moral standards — is watered down. This in itself may be considered a consequence of secularization.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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