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Religion in Secular Society – Fifty Years On - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Religion in Secular Society: Fifty Years On

Bryan R. Wilson and Steve Bruce


Fifty years after its publication, Bryan Wilson’s Religion in Secular Society remains one of the clearest articulations of the modern secularization thesis: the claim that modernization brings with it fundamental changes in the nature and status of religion. For Wilson, secularization refers to religion’s loss of influence at societal, institutional, and individual levels. Largely as a result of inadvertent consequences of modernization (rather than the deliberate activity of avowed secularists) religion has lost power, prestige, and popularity. Science and technology have reduced the importan ... More

Keywords: secularization, secularization theory, religion UK, religion USA

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198788379
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198788379.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bryan R. Wilson, author
Formerly Reader Emeritus in Sociology, University of Oxford

Steve Bruce, editor
Professor of Sociology, University of Aberdeen

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Bryan R. Wilson

Part I The Pattern of Secularization

Part II Secularization in America

6 Religion in America

Bryan R. Wilson

7 Religion and Status

Bryan R. Wilson

Part III The Religious Response

Part IV The Sectarian and Denominational Alternative


Bryan R. Wilson