Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The secularization paradigm argues that the decline of religion in the West is an unintended consequence of a variety of complex social changes known as modernization. Without a dramatic reversal of the increasing cultural autonomy of the individual, secularization is irreversible. In the stable affluent democracies of the West, the individual asserts the rights of the sovereign autonomous consumer. In the absence of social forces eroding that freedom, creation of a detailed ideological consensus is not possible, and no amount of vague spiritual yearning will generate a shared belief system. This diversity and its consequences is explored in this chapter.

Keywords: secularization, secularization paradigm, individual, diversity, religious decline

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.