The Undergraduate Journal of Social Studies


This paper critically examines the secularization thesis, a theory that broadly posits that religion will “die out” as a force in public and private life. Focusing on understanding the emergence of the New Christian Right in the 1980s and its consequences on the American political system, this paper argues that we must re-imagine the relationship between religion and modernity and rethink the intermeshing of public and private spheres. By focusing on the historically peculiar process of secularization in America, this paper embraces an understanding of different kinds and levels of religiosity that are historically contingent on long-term preconditions, the effects of more immediate social evolution, and the impact of specific events, movements, and personalities. In rethinking the relationship between religion and modernity, this paper maintains that religiosity can and does participate in the ongoing struggles that shape the modern world.