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The Post-Secular in QuestionReligion in Contemporary Society$
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Philip Gorski, David Kyuman Kim, John Torpey, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814738726

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814738726.001.0001

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Post-Secular Society

Post-Secular Society

Consumerism and the Democratization of Religion

(p.135) Chapter Six Post-Secular Society
The Post-Secular in Question

Bryan S. Turner

NYU Press

This chapter offers a number of critical reflections on the analysis of religion in both contemporary sociology and social philosophy, with particular emphasis on how religious practice has been transformed by the twin processes of commercialization and democratization. To this end, it considers Émile Durkheim's notion of belief and suggests that secularization must be analyzed under two headings (the social and the political). It also explores the link between philosophy and post-secularism and how the triumph of popular, democratizing, global consumer culture is affecting the traditional, hierarchical, literate religions of the past. The chapter cites the work of Bryan Wilson and suggests that the debate around secularization and “post-secular society” is too narrowly focused on the West.

Keywords:   religion, sociology, social philosophy, commercialization, democratization, Émile Durkheim, secularization, post-secularism, consumer culture, post-secular society

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