Classical secularization theories had suffered strong criticism throughout recent decades. A myriad of conceptual and theoretical alternatives emerged, but social scientists still have difficulty answering a fundamental question in the secularization debate: which process of modernity (if any) better describes the current mutations or displacements of religion in today's societies? This research seeks to answer two fundamental arguments: the idea that we have reached a deadlock in the secularization debate, and that we need new theoretical and empirical approaches to understand the effects of modernity’s processes on religion. In order to do this and inspired by the assumptions of one of the most prominent and systematized theories of secularization –functional differentiation–we propose the creation of an index of functional differentiation that correlates with a measure of individual religiosity. On the one hand, we will use qualitative research, examining the theoretical propositions of functional differentiation and its internal dimensions; on the other hand, we will resort to quantitative research, computing, through some sources such as the Eurostat, the OECD, and the ARDA-RAS, its dimensions and creating a model of functional differentiation. We conclude that, for the set of selected European countries and for the time period considered (1999-2015), the secularization theory, which asserts that more functionally differentiated societies are less religious, has no empirical validity.
|Translated title of the contribution||State-religions separation and differentiation of social spheres as secularization? Correlating the indexes of functional differentiation and religiosity in Europe|
|Number of pages||32|
|Journal||Religare: Revista do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências das Religiões da UFPB|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Dec 2019|
- Functional differentiation