Is World Becoming Secular

Published 07 Sep 2017

The question as to whether religious thinking or religious institutions are becoming less significant in the modern society has become one of the hotly debated issue. Different theories have been put forward to try to explain the situation. It clearly evident that religion is not as influential in today’s world as it was some years back. Gone are the days when religion used to control every aspect of our lives, the world is becoming more secular day by day where societies are relying on material things to get satisfaction rather than calling upon supernatural power for solutions.

Bryan Wilson (1992) has noted that religious thinking and consciousness are losing their importance in the society. There are several indicators to the current state of affairs. The religious symbols, institutions and doctrines have lost their significance and the prestige which was attached to these religion aspects. They no longer attract the kind of attention they used before. People are more inclined to other things than following the doctrines and sticking to the religion obligations.

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In the past religion used to be the guiding factor in almost all the aspects of life, when people were faced with certain problems or issue religion offered part of the solution. This is no longer the case, people are turning more into science for solutions ,for example when a couple could not get a child they turned to prayers and other religious acts but nowadays the solution lies with the laboratories to bring the much needed pride.

Bryan Wilson (1992) attributes these changes to three factors, one is rationalization a process where the world is becoming organized in a rationally where concepts to do with religion have no room. He also points out differentiation or simply social fragmentation where the society has become more specialized in terms of institutions and religion as one of the institution is not directly important to the social system or in operation of the other institutions. Lastly he argues that modern life is being organized by state bureaucracies which have replaced religion as the heart of social life.

Religion has been replaced by other factors as far as spheres of life are concerned; we are relying on material world to get answers rather than turning on religion. This is a clear indication that today’s world is becoming secular.


  • Wilson, Bryan (1992) Reflections on a Many Sided Controversy Bruce, Oxford: Oxford University Press
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