Norris, P. and R. Inglehart (2004). “Sacred and secular. Religion and Politics Worldwide.”: 329.
Seminal thinkers of the nineteenth century – August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud – all predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the emergence of industrial society. The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the 20th century. During the last decade, however, the secularization thesis has experienced the most sustained challenge in its long history.
The traditional secularization thesis needs updating. Religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the concept of secularization captures an important part of what is going on. This book develops a theory of secularization and existential security and compares it against survey evidence from almost 80 societies worldwide.