Are we losing our religion?
David Voas (University College London) explores the evidence and the arguments around changing social attitudes to religion.
Online 6pm – 7pm 18th May 2021.
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One of the oldest ideas in sociology is the secularization thesis: the proposition that modernization creates problems for religion. Although religious involvement is declining across the Western world and no alternative account of religious change has displaced it, the thesis is controversial. Oddly, secularization is typically disputed by people who study religion and generally accepted by those who do not.
David Voas is a demographer and sociologist of religion, an expert in how religion and religious values are transmitted. In this Centre for Religion in Society online event, he will provide a brief overview of the theory of secularization, criticisms, recent developments and evidence from survey research. He argues that the secular transition is difficult to reverse, but that scholars have been more successful at showing how secularization happens than why it happens.
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David Voas is a professor at University College London, where he led the UCL Social Research Institute until 2020 and was the European Values Study national programme director for Great Britain from 2008 to 2020. He is co-director of British Religion in Numbers (www.brin.ac.uk), an online centre for British data on religion that has received recognition as a British Academy Research Project. He is on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Sociology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.