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A2 Sociology > Religion, Renewal And Choice > Flashcards

Flashcards in Religion, Renewal And Choice Deck (54)
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Use an example to explain the idea that religion has moved from obligation to consumption.

Previously, churches such as the CoE and the Catholic Church could 'oblige people to go to church, the believe certain things and to behave in certain ways.' Now religion is a personal choice.

Ex: In England and France, infant baptism was obligatory, now a minority are baptised. However, increase in adult baptism.


Briefly explain what Davie means by 'believing without belonging'.

Religion isn't declining its simply taking a different privatised form. People are increasingly reluctant to belong to organisations. Despite this, people still hold religious beliefs.


Briefly explain what Davie means by 'vicarious religious'.

Religion practised by an active minority (prof clergy + reg churchgoers) on behalf of a great majority, who thus experience religion 2nd hand.


According to Davie, in what way are the major national churches like the NHS?

In Europe, major national churches are seen as public utilities ('spiritual health service'). There for everyone to use whenever. Includes: baptisms, weddings + funerals. Also major national occasions e.g public mourning of Princess Diana.


What does Davie mean by the term 'multiple modernities'?

Instead of a single version of modern society, she argues there's multiple. E.g UK + USA are both modern societies, but with very different patterns of religion especially in relation to church attendance (USA: high, UK: low).


How do Voas and Crockett dispute Davie's claim about believing without belonging?

Evidence from 5,750 respondents shows that both church attendance + belief in God are declining together.


What is Bruce's criticism of believing without belonging?

If people aren't willing to invest time in attending church, this just reflects the declining strength of their beliefs.


Explain why, according to Day, some people may identify as Christian.

Very few of the 'Christians' she interviewed mentioned God or Christianity. Their reason for describing themselves as Christian was simply a way of saying they belonged to a 'White English' ethnic group. They 'believe in belonging'.


Use an example to explain cultural amnesia.

Cultural amnesia is a loss of collective memory.

Ex: Children used to be taught religion in the extended family + parish church. Now, we've largely lost the religion that used to be handed down bc few parents teach their children about religion. Instead, parents allow children to decide what to believe.


According to Hervieu-Leger, what impact has the trend to greater equality had on religion?

It's undermined the traditional power of the church to impose religion on people from above.

Result: young people no longer have a fixed religious identity imposed on them through socialisation + they're ignorant of traditional religion.


Why have people become spiritual shoppers?

Religion has now become individualised - we now develop our own 'do-it-yourself' beliefs that give meaning to our lives and fit in with our interests and aspirations.


Briefly explain what Hervieu-Leger means by pilgrims.

They follow an individual path in a search for self-discovery (e.g exploring New Age spirituality) by joining groups, or through individual 'therapy'. The demand is created by today's emphasis on personal development.


Briefly explain what Hervieu-Leger means by converts.

- Join religious groups that offer a strong sense of belonging, usually based on ethnic b/g or religious doctrine.
- Such groups re-create a sense of community in a society that's lost many religious traditions.
- Kendall Project: these include evangelical movements + also the churches of ethnic minorities.


According to Hervieu-Leger, how does religion still have an influence on society's values?

Ex: the values of equality + human rights have their roots in religion, she argues. Such values can be a source of shared cultural identity + social solidarity, even for those who aren't actively involved in religion.


Briefly explain how Hervieu-Leger's views link to the idea of late modernity.

Late modernity explains the weakening of traditional institutions such as the church, as well as the growing importance of individual choice in matters of religion.


According to Lyon, what are the three features of postmodern society?

- Globalisation.
- Increased importance of the media and communications.
- Growth of consumerism.


Briefly explain how the media causes religious ideas to become disembedded.

The media lifts them out of their physical churches and move them to a different place and time.

Ex: 'Electronic church' and televangelism dis-embed religion from real, local churches and relocate it on the Internet, allowing believers to express their faith without physically attending church.


What is meant by the idea that religion has become de-institutionalised?

Becomes detached from its place in religious institutions, floating in cyber-space. Removed from their original location in the church, religious ideas become a cultural resource that individuals can adapt for their own purposes.


Briefly explain what is meant by religion online.

A form of top-down communication where a religious organisation used the internet to address members and potential converts. There's no feedback or dialogue between parties. Electronic version of church.


Briefly explain what is meant by online religion.

- Form of 'cyber-religion' that may have no existence outside the internet.
- 'Many-to-many' form of communication allowing creation of non-hierarchical relationships + sense of community where people can visit virtual worship or mediation spaces etc.
- Ex: Pagan studied by Cowan gained a sense of self worth from feeling that they belonged to a global network.


Briefly explain what Lyon means by religion having relocated to the 'sphere of consumption.'

While people may not belong to religious organisations, they haven't abandoned religion. Instead they've become 'religious consumers', making conscious choices about which elements of religion they find useful.

Ex: American Christian fundamentalists (Ammerman, 1987) made use of a number of churches without giving strong loyalty to any.
- One family: attended services at a Methodist church, bereavement counselling at a Baptist church, while taking their children to another church for daycare.


How does the existence of a range of religious products weaken traditional religions?

- Weakens traditional religions that claim a monopoly of the truth and that try to oblige people to believe them.
- Many competing versions of the truth make people sceptical that any of them are true thus previously dominant religious institutions lose their authority and decline.

Lyon (postmodernist):
- Decline of traditional churches isn't the end of religion.
- In their place, many new religious movements are springing up which the religious consumer can sample from which they can construct their own personal belief.
- Religion and spirituality are evolving + taking on new forms, not disappearing.


How does New Age spirituality differ from traditional religions?

- Rejects the idea of obligation and obedience to external authority found in traditional religions.
- Instead, emphasises the idea of life as a journey of discovery, personal development autonomy and connecting with ones 'inner self'.


Explain why New Age beliefs and practices have been called 'self-spirituality'.

- Emphasises finding and connecting with ones 'inner self.'
- Promotes individualism. For example, by engaging in spiritual shopping, pick and mixing ideas online etc.


According to Lyon, why does the decline of traditional religious views not mean the end of religion?

- Argues we're in a period of re-enchantment, with the growth of unconventional beliefs, practises and spirituality.
- Traditional religion has declined, but there's a growing vitality of non-traditional religion in the West and its resurgence elsewhere in the world.


Briefly explain what is meant by a spiritual revolution.

Traditional Christianity is giving way to 'holistic spirituality' or New Age spiritual beliefs and practises that emphasise personal development and subjective experience.


Give three examples of products available in the spiritual market.

Books about self-help and spirituality, and the many practitioners who offer consultations, courses and 'therapies', ranging from meditation to crystal healing.


According to Heelas and Woodhead, what is meant by the congregational domain?

The congregational domain of traditional and evangelical Christianity.


According to Heelas and Woodhead, what is meant by the holistic milieu?

The holistic milieu of spirituality and the New Age.


Briefly outline the three explanations for the trend in worship in the Kendal study.

- New Age spirituality has grown because of a massive subjective turn in today's culture. This involves a shift away from the idea of doing your duty and obeying external authority, to exploring your inner self by following a spiritual path.

- As a result of traditional religions, which demand duty and obedience are declining. Heelas and Woodhead: 'religion that tells you what to believe and how to behave is out of tune with a culture which believes it's up to us to seek out answers for ourselves'.

- Evangelical churches are more successful than traditional churches. Both demand discipline + duty. Evangelicals emphasise importance of spiritual healing + growth through being 'born again'.