Sacred and Secular

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-17
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Seminal nineteenth-century thinkers predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance with the emergence of industrial society. The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century. The traditional secularization thesis needs updating, however, religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the concept of secularization captures an important part of what is going on. This book develops a theory of existential security. It demonstrates that the publics of virtually all advanced industrial societies have been moving toward more secular orientations during the past half century, but also that the world as a whole now has more people with traditional religious views than ever before. This second edition expands the theory and provides new and updated evidence from a broad perspective and in a wide range of countries. This confirms that religiosity persists most strongly among vulnerable populations, especially in poorer nations and in failed states. Conversely, a systematic erosion of religious practices, values, and beliefs has occurred among the more prosperous strata in rich nations.

Author Biography

Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a visiting professor at Sydney University. Ronald Inglehart is professor of political science and program director at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. ix
List of Figuresp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Understanding Secularization
The Secularization Debatep. 3
Measuring Secularizationp. 33
Comparing Secularization Worldwidep. 53
Case Studies of Religion and Politics
The Puzzle of Secularization in the United States and Western Europep. 83
A Religious Revival in Post-Communist Europe?p. 111
Religion and Politics in the Muslim Worldp. 133
The Consequences of Secularization
Religion, the Protestant Ethic, and Moral Valuesp. 159
Religious Organizations and Social Capitalp. 180
Religious Parties and Electoral Behaviorp. 196
Secularization and Its Consequencesp. 215
Reexamining the Theory of Existential Securityp. 243
Reexamining Evidence for the Security Thesisp. 253
Classifications of Types of Societyp. 283
Concepts and Measuresp. 287
Technical Note on the Freedom of Religion Scalep. 293
Notesp. 295
Bibliographyp. 331
Indexp. 359
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