A new discourse on religion in modern societies has established itself in the social sciences and humanities. Perspectives in the social sciences are no longer dominated by the master narrative that claims that religion is waning in significance. The new keywords are now the de-privatization of religion, the return of the Gods, and de-secularization. Instead of assuming a strained relationship between religion and modernity, scholars nowadays emphasize the compatibility of religion and modernity. They also draw attention to the blurred boundaries between tradition and modernity and underline the religious roots of modern institutions and ideas. Faced with such a rejection of secularization theory, the book wishes to hold two questions open. Do we really already know what the dominant tendencies of religious change are in modern societies? Are we in a position to explain these tendencies? The analyses collected in the book are intended to deal with these questions.
Keywords: criticism of secularization theory, structural analysis, cultural-historical understanding, theoretical reflection, quantitative and qualitative research, global history, national history, Eurocentrism
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