chapter  10
12 Pages

Individualizing Faith, Individualizing Identity: Islam and Young Muslim Women in Belgium

Secularization is often used as a root metaphor to describe the W estem European modernization process. Several authors have described the different dimensions of the term (for example, Tschannen, 1992; Dobbelaere, 2002). Nevertheless, a central thread running through the literature concerns the ways in which modernity has transformed the social impact of religion. In particular, it is observed that religion no longer has a key role to play in the organization of European societies, having become just one of their many 'subsystems'. Similarly, religion no longer functions as a 'sacred canopy' naturalizing religious affiliation (Berger, 1978) having become instead a question of choice. As Grace Davie puts it, the emphasis now is on believing rather than belonging (Davie, 2000).