A sociological study of belief and conversion in Scotland today.
(2016) A sociological study of belief and conversion in Scotland today., no. 73.
Sociological theory regarding contemporary religious conversion is contested and malleable; the once accepted 'modernisation as secularisation' theory has since died, and instead the consensus is one of pluralisation. This dissertation set the aim to discover the role of Christian belief in modern contemporary, Scottish society, with a view to determining its function given the individualistic nature of late-modern society, as well as illustrating the reasons behind religious conversion. I intended to provide a human face to the current sociological consensus of religious decline. In order to achieve this, I conducted six semi-structured interviews with participants based in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and Dumfries and Galloway with ages ranging from 25 to 70 years old. My findings were consistent with current consensus that privatism is having a drastic impact on how the late-modern individual engages with Christianity and faith, with the themes emerging of: Privatism, Ambivalence vis á vis Institution, Knowledge and Truth, The Dialectic of the Self and The Other, and Structural Vulnerability. From my research I have concluded that individuality in a Scottish context is influencing religion to be adapted to the new social context within which it is being practiced, which is no longer one of community but one of subjective spirituality through grace.