Depois da secularização... uma entrevista com Peter Berger

quinta-feira, junho 11, 2009

You’re known for arguing, most notably in The Sacred Canopy in the 1960s, for a theory of secularization and then for renouncing that theory in the 1990s. What are the distinctively modern characteristics of how religion is lived today?

You’re right, of course, that I changed my mind over the years. It wasn’t a dramatic change —it happened in stages, and it wasn’t due to any change in theological or philosophical position. It was basically the weight of evidence, as I think a social scientist should base his theories on evidence. Much earlier than the 90s—I would say by the late 70s or early 80s—most, but not all, sociologists of religion came to agree that the original secularization thesis was untenable in its basic form, which simply said modernization and secularization are necessarily correlated developments. I followed most people in the field; I went through the same process of rethinking. There are some people who didn’t follow, and there are still some today. Steve Bruce in Britain is a heroic upholder of the old theory, which I greatly respect. He’s a very intelligent and likable fellow, and there are a few others.

If I look at my early work, I think I made one basic mistake intellectually—leaving aside the question of data and empirical evidence—and that was to conflate two phenomena that are related but quite distinct: secularization and pluralization. Today you cannot plausibly maintain that modernity necessarily leads to secularization: it may—and it does in certain parts of the world among certain groups of people—but not necessarily.



Peter L. Berger is Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. A leading scholar on secularization theory, he has written numerous books on sociological theory and the sociology of religion, most notably The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (1967) and the edited volume The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics (1999). His most recent book is Questions of Faith: A Skeptical Affirmation of Christianity (2003).

Charles T. Mathewes is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He has published several books and is Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.


PDF gratuito desta entrevista interessante com Peter Berger pode ser baixado aqui.