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"Watersheds of secularization". Conclusions

21.10.2015
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Successfully or not, but the logic of this research has been exhausted. We delineated the outcome positions essentially and methodologically, decided on time and space limits of search, suggested our own understanding of reasons, ways and mechanisms of secularization, and also export of secular processes on "non-autochthonous" territory; lastly, made an attempt to lay the created theory of secularization as a foundation of assessment of today's transformations of world order and Ukrainian existence . It is time to summarize the results from different parts of the book, and give our own definition of secularization, which would take into account the inner logic of religious processes and all those social transformations, which either accompanied secularization of Christian universe or were integral part of this process.

It should be noted that secularization doesn’t apply merely to church practices or certain aspects of religious life. The study of process of birth of global forms of social life organization demonstrated the importance of changes  in thinking, worldview, values. These are systemic, large scale and rather fast transformations of Medieval Latin Christianity worldview, which we can call a secular revolution.

Each direction of this revolution should be considered only an aspect of secularization, which applies to the whole notional universe and universe of social action connected to these meanings. In other words, secularization mostly means revolutionary transformation of social reality. First of all, it consists in radical restructuring of its ontological layer, in which process the transcendent horizon of existence is rationalized and later almost fully emasculated. Secondly, it consists in the birth of new proto-scientific rationality, which would make natural theology and later natural sciences possible. Thirdly, it is a creation of new forms of social life, which are adequate to the new worldview and understanding, and which are common to the cultural space that is unique in geographical size, unification and homogenization. If we try to be consistent and not assert the existence of entities, of which it's "impossible to talk consistently", then it should be noted that secularization is a revolution of primarily ontological nature.

Consequence of the ontological shift is radical transformation of the space of social being and birth of that Europe, which in several centuries would turn into "modern West" or Modern. First a special world emerges in thinking of intellectual elite, perception of which is reflected in de-sacralization of worldview, creation of the Enlightenment project, immanentization of values and goals. It is this world that demands rational legitimization of power, regulations and forms of social being, and, finally, the mind itself. Not only rationalization, but ideolatrization of mind unites all these transformations, which were determined firstly as a de-trancendentalization of being. If we understand secularization exactly from this ontological point of view, then Enlightenment is an ideological project of transforming sacral meanings into immanent, and modern is a culture created as a result of implementation of this project and its export to new territories.

Apart from that, ontological understanding of secularization has several important consequences. First of all, Europe as a synonym to "West" (as a product of Christian globalization and as a secular world) is in opposition to the other part of the world that its ideological and technological achievements are spread on, but don't cause ontological changes identical to ontological transformations in the western culture. Secondly, globalization should be understood as a spread of western forms of thinking and life over the whole world, in which process other cultures de facto do not necessarily refuse their own religious worldview and religiously motivated imperatives, and can fill old forms with new meaning. Thirdly, ideological differences, which have a great potential, are used today in global competition through creating and implementing projects of global development alternative to western. And, last but not least, de-universalization of the project of modern, reflection over its religious background and corresponding loss of the right to present exclusive view on future and interpretation of the past and present may symbolize a change not less radical than secular revolution.

While the world of secondary secularization was going along a choiceless path of modernization, it had to pay a fine for using rented clothes. But new thinking and post secular situation can radically change the state of things. Today we should state a presence of diffused clash of civilizations of primary and secondary secularizations, which is some cases turns into military clashes.

Thereby, we define secularization as a unique (the kind that happened only once in history) stage of a process of rationalization, natural for religious traditions, characteristic only for the development of Christianity in its Latin variant, which is constituted in gradual immanentization of social reality (rationalization and then de-trancendentalization), reorientation of forms of social activity to instrumental interaction nature that is in opposition to Man, on the basis of utilitarian values and universal understanding of mankind, history and progress. An important addition to this definition is that the universality of reality so constructed and regulations of social life, values and goals, is postulated by only part of citizens of the world of primary secularization, thus creating an opposition of different forms of activities on the side of supporters of non-secular religious and cultural traditions.

 
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