Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics)

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9780521548724: Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics)
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August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the emergence of industrial society. Their belief that religion was dying became conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century. However, this analysis reveals that the traditional secularization thesis needs updating now. Religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so, even though secularization has had a surprisingly powerful negative impact on human fertility rates.

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Book Description:

Sacred and Secular demonstrates that: (1) The publics of virtually all advanced industrial societies have been moving toward more secular orientations during the past fifty years; but (2) The world as a whole now has more people with traditional religious views than ever before-- and they constitute a growing proportion of the world's population. Though these two propositions may seem contradictory, they are not. The fact that the first proposition is true, helps account for the second because secularization has a surprisingly powerful negative impact on human fertility rates.

About the Author:

Pippa Norris is the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her work analyzes comparative elections and public opinion, gender politics, and political communications. Companion volumes by this author, also published by Cambridge University Press, include A Virtuous Circle (2000), Digital Divide (2001), Democratic Phoenix (2002), Rising Tide (2003, with Ronald Inglehart) and Electoral Engineering (2004).

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