Modernization and Modernity

Questions concerning the relationships between religion, modernization processes, and modernity are located at the core of the sociology of religion and represent one of its paradigmatic orientations. Framing modernization broadly as the rise of the rationalized social order characterized by urbanization, industrialism, the rule of law, and reflexive knowledge production, these questions are: What is the impact of modernization on religion? What are the specifically modern conditions under which religion thrives or loses out? How is religion involved in modernization processes? And what are the specifically modern forms of religion?

Answers to these questions depend on whether one views the normative core of modernity primarily in a positive light—as increasing progress, emancipation, personal autonomy, and freedom—or rather negatively, as advancing new forms of discipline and authority, ...

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