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Generation and secularisation in Germany : the succession of generations up to the youngest adult generation and the advancing process of secularisation

Moderne Religion
[collection article]

Franzmann, Manuel

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Corporate Editor Institute for State-Church Relations
Abstract When one considers the results of social scientific surveys, secularisation in Germany seems to be a more or less linear process of erosion of what is traditionally named religiosity. The percentage of citizens who affirm that they are "religious", believe in God or otherworldly beings, hope for life after death or participate regularly in the praxis of a religious community has been – by and large – steadily declining for decades. This decline has occurred over the succeeding generations: The younger the generation, the fewer "religious" people in it. But the process of secularisation is apparent not only in this persistent quantitative shrinkage from generation to generation. Above all it also manifests itself – this is the thesis of the article – in the transformation of the habitus formations and contents of faith of the generations. The essence of ongoing secularisation naturally is reflected most clearly in its contemporary state of development which is represented in the youngest adult generation. Therefore the analysis of this generation is particularly interesting for the sociology of religion. But the article does not confine to analyze this generation. After indicating some basic premises of the sociology of generations and the notion of secularisation presupposed in this paper, the succession of generations in Germany is outlined hypothetically, from the so-called generation of '68 to the youngest adult generation, concluding with some remarks about the progress of secularisation.
Keywords secularization; generation; religiousness; Federal Republic of Germany; sociology of religion; socialization; Oevermann, U.; sociology; life style; social change; autonomy
Classification Sociology of Religion
Method theory application
Collection Title Moderné náboženstvo / Modern Religion
Editor Jozefčiaková, Zostavila Silvia
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
City Bratislava
Page/Pages p. 44-54
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works