By this time, secularization had become a major priority for social scientists examining religion. In analyzing the United States, Fenn (1979) stresses that secularization involves a blurring rather than a sharpening of the boundaries between the sacred and the secular; more recently, Fenn refers to secularization as the ”domestication of charisma” (1993). Meanwhile, the concept is at least a subtheme of Bellah et al. (1985) in a work that depicts the community’s losing struggle with individualism, perhaps the ultimate form of differentiation at the personal level.
The term also has additional meanings, primarily historical and religious. Applied to property, historically it refers to the seizure of monastic lands and buildings, such as 's in England and the later acts during the as well as by various European governments during the 18th and 19th centuries, which resulted in the expulsion and suppression of the religious communities which occupied them (see ). Otherwise, secularization involves the abandonment of goods by the Church where it is sold to purchasers after the seizes the property, which most commonly happens after reasonable negotiations and arrangements are made.
Secularization Theory: The Course of a Concept William H
Critics believe that proponents of the secularization thesis interpret global religious movements through the narrow lens of European secularization. To be sure, Europe is secularized. They will argue, however, that this pattern doesn't work for the United States, much less for the global south, where conservative—even radical—forms of Islam and Christianity are bursting at the seams. But by debating too narrowly the question of the disappearance of religion, critics of the secularization thesis fail to see the transformation of religion that is at the heart of the process of secularization.