Berger secularisation thesis

Berger believed that society is made aware of what he referred to as the nomos, or the patterns a particular society wants its members to see as objectively right and to internalize. The nomos is all the society's knowledge about how things are, and all of its values and ways of living. This is upheld through legitimacy, either giving special meaning to these behaviors or by creating a structure of knowledge that enhances the plausibility of the nomos. The existence of an eternal cosmic entity that legitimizes a nomos makes the nomos itself eternal; an individual's actions within its set society are all based on a universal and orderly pattern based on their beliefs. [2]

The one process identified by secularisation theorists that does seem inevitable in modern societies is the collapse of religious hegemonies, and the differentiation of secular spheres – the state, the economy, media and education – from the religious sphere. In medieval Christendom, the Christian church enjoyed an ideological monopoly and exercised significant institutional control over the state, the economy, welfare, law and education. However, the process of modernisation has effectively destroyed Christendom. Modernisation has entailed a dramatic shift from ideological uniformity to pluralism, and from institutional cohesion to differentiation. As Christendom became increasingly pluralistic in the wake of the Reformation, ecclesiastical monopolies were placed under considerable strain.[13]

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Berger secularisation thesis

berger secularisation thesis


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