A Critical Evaluation of the Dominant Conception of God and Western Religion

Secularisation Versus Secularism and the Separation of Scientific and Religious Questions


  • Dylan Gibson Stellenbosch University


Philosophy of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Theology, Secularisation, Secularism


The content of this article draws its influence from the cultural context within which the debate around the secularity of religion - Secularisation versus Secularism - found its grounds in 1960s Europe after Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prison writings. The concepts of Secularisation and Secularism serve as the focal point of this paper and will be subsequently analysed and critically evaluated in terms of their ‘usefulness’ for modern society. Commentary on the manner in which the ‘dominant’ conception of God is traditionally understood in Western culture and the way in which this dominant view is believed to have constantly shifted as guided by logic and rationality/reason will also be provided. Drawing influence from the field of the Philosophy of Religion, this article will attempt to discuss, expand on and reveal why the Secularisation of religion – not necessarily in opposition to Rodney Stark’s anti-Secularisation views – appears to be an inevitable and consistent product of human development, specifically in modern times. This acknowledgement of the dismissal of Secularism becomes especially important when one realises that scientific and religious questions can – and should – be meaningfully separated.






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