Is the secularization research programme progressing? Debate on Jörg Stolz’s article on secularization theories in the 21st century: ideas, evidence, and problems

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 15, 2020


The methodology of scientific research programmes, developed by Imre Lakatos, can help us to identify which theories are strong or weak. Applying this approach suggests that the secularization research programme is progressing, as Stolz argues. Some of the recent advances have been more successful than others, however. In particular, we have done better at understanding how secularization happens than why it happens.

Published in

Social Compass

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 67 , p.323 -329




Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (



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