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Barker, Eileen ORCID: 0000-0001-5247-7204 (2007) Preface. In: Kosmin, Barry A. and Keysar, Ariela, (eds.) Secularism and Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives. Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, Hartford, USA, iii-iv. ISBN 9780979481604

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For decades commentators assumed that secularization was inevitable. By the latter part of the 20th century, however, it was being argued that religion was changing rather than declining. Yet just as there are many ways of being religious, so there are many ways of not being religious. What is becoming abundantly clear is not only that religiosity but also that both secularity (asa description of individual orientations) and secularism (as a description of society) are far more complicated, even paradoxical, than had been recognized. While more than 80% of Danes are formally members of the established state religion, less than 5% attend church on a weekly basis—and there are fewer official members of the Church of England (26%) than non-members who feel they belong (29%). Depending on what is understood by the concept, betweenone and 46% of the population of the United States can be defined as “secular,”yet 67% of Americans who say they have no religion believe in the existence of God — and, at the same time, there are self-identifying Lutherans and Roman Catholics professing that they do not believe in God.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture
Divisions: Sociology
LSE Human Rights
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 09:11
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:10

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