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5. Multiple Modernities
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about whether there is a universal narrative of religion and modernity, and especially whether the European story of secularisation can be applied to other contexts, focusing in particular on: (i) the argument that modernisation is a contextual process which will produce different models of modernity in different parts of the world; (ii) the related notion that secularisation was a product only of the European model; (iii) Shmuel Eisenstadt’s concept of “multiple modernities” and its challenge to conventional understandings of modernity grounded in the European Enlightenment; (iv) the issue of defining modernity without relying on the traditional European narrative.
In this course, Professor Grace Davie (University of Exeter) considers the relationship between religion and modernity. In the first lecture, we clarify the meaning of the term “modernity”. In the second lecture, we look at the trajectories of religion in Europe, noting that modernisation entailed secularisation. In the third lecture, we look at the trajectories of religion in the US, where religion and modernity have been mutually reinforcing. Next, we explore changes to modernity in the late-twentieth century, how they influenced religion, and whether the terms “late modernity” and “post modernity” are useful in characterising them. In the fifth lecture, we interrogate whether there is a universal narrative of religion and modernity through Shmuel Eisenstadt’s notion of “multiple modernities". In the sixth and final lecture, we conclude with Professor Davie’s thoughts on this question.
Professor Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Exeter. She is a leading sociologist of religion and has written widely on religion in the modern world. Her publications include Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground (2017), Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (2015), and The Sociology of Religion: A Critical Agenda (2013).
Cite this Lecture
Davie, G. (2021, October 06). Religion and Modernity - Multiple Modernities [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/religion-and-modernity/multiple-modernities
Davie, G. "Religion and Modernity – Multiple Modernities." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Oct 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/religion-and-modernity/multiple-modernities