Tue, 1 May 2007
The most influential social thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries all believed that religion was an outdated preoccupation which maturing, progressing societies would eventually abandon. This assumption, often called the secularization hypothesis, was held by most sociologists through most of the 20th century.
One sociologist who believed early on that the story of the place of religion in modern societies was a little more complicated and variable than most of his colleagues allowed for was David Martin. Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Dr. Martin has long insisted that the fate of religion in modern societies has been dramatically different in different countries.
In 2005, a collection of essays by Martin called On Secularization: Toward a Revised General Theory was published by Ashgate Press. That book was the occasion for a conversation between David Martin and MARS HILL AUDIO host Ken Myers, much of which is presented in this issue of Audition.
A separate portion of this interview was featured on Volume 84 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, which is available for purchase in an MP3 download edition.
Other guests on the Journal who have addressed the issue of secularization include Steve Bruce, Zygmunt Bauman, Edward Norman, and Harry Blamires.