Further Thoughts on Church Growth and Secularization

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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My original paper criticized a collection of essays on church growth in the United Kingdom for presenting case studies of growing congregations as refutation of the sociological secularization thesis. It argued that pockets of growth within overall decline could only refute the thesis if it required that the decline of interest in the churches be universal, even, and rapid, which it does not. David Goodhew has responded to that critique by re-stating his case and elaborating some examples. This paper clarifies the key point at issue by stressing the need for comprehensive rather than illustrative and selective evidence of religious behavior.

Further Thoughts on Church Growth and Secularization

in Journal of Religion in Europe

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References

BruceStevePaisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press2007).

—— Politics and Religion in the UK (London: Routledge2011).

BruceSteveGlendinningTonyPatersonIain & RosieMichaelSectarianism in Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press2004).

FieldCliveChurch Growth in Britain since 1980British Religion in Numbershttp://www.brin.ac.uk/news/2012/church-growth-in-britain-since-1980 (accessed 9 June 2012).

GoodhewDavidChurch Growth in Britain: A Response to Steve BruceJournal of Religion in Europe 6/3 (2013) 297315.

GoodhewDavid (ed.) Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present (Aldershot: Ashgate2012).

GuestMatthewNegotiating Community: An Ethnographic Study Of An Evangelical Church unpublished PhD thesis (Lancaster: Lancaster University2002).

1)

David Goodhew“Church Growth in Britain: A Response to Steve Bruce,” Journal of Religion in Europe 6/3 (2013) 297–315.

2)

 See for example Steve BrucePaisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press2007); idem Politics and Religion in the UK (London: Routledge 2011); and Steve Bruce Tony Glendinning Iain Paterson & Michael Rosie Sectarianism in Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2004).

3)

David Goodhew (ed.)Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present (Aldershot: Ashgate2012) inside title page.

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