Public and Private Religion

The classic dichotomy between public and private religion is at the heart of numerous attempts to analyze and locate religion, even if often only one element is included in the analysis, such as exploring public religion-state relations or analyzing the links between private religion and altruism. Modern societies are committed to the increasing independence of social systems (societal differentiation), one example of which is the privatization of religion, or religious individualism. For instance, the majority of the American baby boomers are religiously privatized. The overall societal differentiation is gained and maintained by the public-private distinction. This dichotomy is, however, rooted in the traditional way of looking at social relations and institutions (domestic life vs. the public and third sectors) and has been challenged.

Still, this dichotomy ...

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