The effects of secularisation on the Christian Church in England
Whitfield, William Tony
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Secularisation has many meanings and it is the desire of the present writer to formulate a consensual definition or, at least, to describe its nature in the various forms in which it manifests itself namely, in personal, intellectual and political ways. We envisage this phenomenon in society as resulting from developments which have occurred in the last century, such as modernisation, post-modernisation, globalisation, fragmentation and rationalization, all of which bear a close mutual relationship. In its tum, secularisation is conceived as promoting the qualitative decline in church membership, attendance and the number of church baptisms and marriages. It is further believed that it has contributed to a qualitative decline in religious belief and is attended by the emergence of New Religious Movements and New Age Movements. Such a scenario is an unhappy one for the institutional Church in England and the present author seeks to confront the decline in religious observance and the other negative effects which secularisation has had, such as the Church's disengagement from society, religious pluralism, privatism and a 'this-worldly' attitude. Although this is a massive problem, the author suggests some strategies that Christian communities could employ in order to minimise these effects.
- Humanities