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The NonreligiousUnderstanding Secular People and Societies$
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Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, and Frank L. Pasquale

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924950.001.0001

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Secularity through Time

Secularity through Time

(p.53) 3 Secularity through Time
The Nonreligious

Phil Zuckerman

Luke W. Galen

Frank L. Pasquale

Oxford University Press

The subject of secularization—whether or to what extent humanity is becoming less religious—has yielded a wide range of conclusions, some flatly contradictory. Evidence for and against competing arguments is considered, and some broad tendencies can be discerned. With greater economic and technological development comes increased personal security, as well as mobility, personal autonomy, and exposure to alternative worldviews. This fosters an individualization of worldviews and lifestyles and, so, some erosion of traditional religious belief, belonging, and authority. This outcome, however, is not evenly distributed throughout the world. Due to cultural heritage, historical tradition, political structure, population makeup, and other local factors, such forces may result in greater secularity or resurgent religiosity. Moreover, while secularity has been gaining ground in some places (especially Europe, the anglophone world, and East Asia), because of higher birth rates in poorer and more religious regions humanity is not becoming more secular, overall, at the present time.

Keywords:   secularization, religionization, existential security, individualization, secularity, religious resurgence

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