Modernization involves a complex set of political, economic, technological, and cultural developments originating in Europe and now operative, in varying degrees, throughout the world. The key characteristics of modernization include the formation of nation-states, the development of capitalist economies, the differentiation of social spheres, and the transformation of religious life. Throughout the 20th century, modernization was thought to be closely tied to secularization, or the decline of religion, but major events of the past few decades have forced scholars to reconsider this assumption. Although modernization often involves a set of forces that are hostile to traditional religion, the link between modernization and religion is complicated for at least two reasons. First, modernization is in many ways a product of religion, and second, the idea of ...

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