This past week we did an activity where we split into different groups, depending on which article was assigned. I was assigned to read “Religious America, Secular Europe?” by Berger. It was an interesting article as it mainly explained the similarities and differences of what religion is like between America and Europe.
As we discussed in lecture, we defined secularization as the idea that religion is disappearing from the modern world. Berger claims that Europe is a more secular society while America is a more religious one. In our class activity, my group and I used a venn diagram as an outline and drew creative characters and symbols that represented each similarity and difference. For example, one similarity between the two was that both catholic and protestant churches must operate as voluntary associations. So we decided to draw a church with open doors. The whole idea of thinking of different ways we could represent each fact was very challenging, yet helpful at the same time.
The “Gendering Secularization Theory” group’s presentation of their poster really caught my attention. Their article’s main focus was about how gender plays a significant role in the secularization theory, more importantly women. On the poster, they drew a “working” women which represented someone who is not as religious. On the opposite side of the paper, there was a “stay at home” women which represented someone who is more religious. However, in the middle they drew a hybrid of the two different women and explained how it represented women today who are both but still consider themselves as religious. These women were considered “jugglers” as they juggled both their job and home life. I found this article very interesting because it shows how secularization has and still do affect women till this day.
As it shows, this week’s emphasis was really about secularization and how it plays a big role in religion. I believe that this activity allowed me to see the different ways in which the different authors see how secularization has been affected in society