Secularisation Analysis

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This essay firstly defines the term secularisation, and differences between macro, mezzo and micro levels of analysis. Secondly, it examines the causes and consequences of secularisation and its impact on Ireland, due to the possible effects of urbanisation, modernity, “decline of the community” and society on religion and religious entities and how secularisation is linked to these changes. Due to a secularising society churches have to change if they are to sustain some of their power over society. All of these points are tested against the Irish case in order to show how the concept of secularisation is a continuous topic in sociology. Secularisation is a process of social change through which the public influence of religion and religious…show more content…
The Catholic Church has had great influence on the development of the education system in Ireland and still retains a central role which is recognised and supported by the state through funding. This influence and control has been changing over the years with the introduction of ‘Educate together schools’ and Gaelscoilenna which takes religion out of the education system and away from religious ethos. With the decline in the religious being able to teach, secondary schools are also slowly starting to move away from the catholic ethos this can be seen with the introductions of sexual education classes and more open discussions and teachings on divorce and abortion. Primary schools remain to be one of the last institutions of power that the church controls and with relations with the state diminishing; this power may not last much…show more content…
The data for Europe shows that in order for churches to survive in the future and in a secularising society, and with all the aspects of change shown earlier with the macro mezzo and micro levels, churches are faced with the choice to either adapt or replace specific beliefs with more general beliefs such as social justice and well-being, or their religious message will fade. The churches in Ireland are faced with this same choice. Greater engagement or moral issues from the church could lead to a greater attraction for the young generation who are living in a socialised society full of choice, competition and individualism. The church could exert some of its religious authority as people are in need in society and this would win back some power for the church. The religious authority of the Catholic Church has been faced with much pressure over the years due to reports of clerical abuse of children in the care of institutions run by catholic authorities. An example of this is in 2009 when it was reported and in the media about the child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese. As a consequence of these reports coming out the religious authority in regards to its leaders and messages is under huge pressure and the only way forward especially for the churches of Ireland is to adapt and meet the

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