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Global Secularization Paradigm

The concept of secularization is controversial. Though ideas of secularization dominated sociological studies of religion through the 1960s and 1970s, the meaning of the term broadened to the point where its utility in describing the relationship between religion and society had been compromised and scholars began to criticize it. Criticisms tend to converge on the observable fact that religion has not disappeared; it remains a force in the lives of people and proves its power politically and culturally through revolutions both peaceful and violent.

In 1993, R. Stephen Warner encapsulated these criticisms and described a developing paradigm in the sociological study of religion in the United States. The new approach shifts attention from declining religion to how the supply of and demand for religion vary according ...

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