How Do We Know Who To Trust? • We used to just assume that authorities were right because they tended to say “Cause God said so” • Appeals to “divine authority” have lost credibility • People don’t go to priests and mullahs now. They go to sociologists (macro) and psychologists (micro) for answers.
“Secularism” • “Religious interpretations of reality and religious orientations have yielded to explanations/justifications for human behavior made in scientific and rational terms” • Eventually? A totally religious society? Nah! Belief In Life After Death? 75% Belief That Jesus Is A Diety? 75% Claim Membership In Religious Org? 90% Pray To God? 90% Belief In Hell? 50% Belief in God? 90%
Did The U.S. Have Its Own “Age Of Faith”? * Various sources including Gallup, Statistical Abstracts, Adherents.Com, Finke and Stark’s Churching Of America
Religion Leisure Law Education Polity Media Market Housing Leisure Law Religion Family Education Polity Media Market Housing Family Changes In Influence? Cultural Secularization Religion Is Equal To Other Institutions Religious Secularization Institutions Influence Religion Religionization Religion Influences Institutions
Family Law Leisure Education Polity Media Market Law Housing Education Religion Media Market Housing Leisure Polity Family Another Way To See This?“Loss Of Religious Authority” Organizational Secularizaton Internal Secularization Loss of authority over religious orgs Institutional Secularization Laicization Loss of authority over other institutions Individual Secularization Religious Disinvolvement Loss of authority over individuals and congregants Religionization Religions Maintain Authority Everywhere
Civil Religion • Also called “religion-in-general” and “religion of the republic” • Americans share common religious characteristics (beliefs, symbols, sacred places, rituals, holydays, martyrs) and a sense of our nation’s sacredness We’re “one nation under God”, “in God we trust”, we ask that “God Bless America”, our “eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”, and we’re “endowed by God with certain unalienable rights”. We pray to God in moments of crisis, transition, memory, and thanksgiving We celebrate God’s (?) birth and death/resurrection as national holidays. While no American president mentions Christ in his inaugural address, ALL of them mention “God” “The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” JFK 1961 But Is The American Version Of Civil Religion Truly “Secular”?