AbstractP. L. Berger is identified as a typical advocate of linear secularization theory. Berger is considered as one of the phenomenological sociologists who stress the importance of individual activity. His secularization theory, however, posits an irreversible course of history that is not compatible with the tenets of phenomenological sociology. This paper inquires into the cause of this contradiction, and argues that the main problem of Berger's secularization theory is a confusion of "religion" and "legitimation." Berger defines the concept of legitimation as socially objected knowledge that serves to explain and justify the social order. Legitimation is, therefore, a reality experienced by the members of a society. Although Berger describes four levels of legitimization, he makes use only of the fourth level (symbolic universe). Religion is defined as a part of legitimation, but in his use of "religion" all four levels of legitimation are implied. As a result of this confusion, religion, legitimation, and reality are all regarded as the same superstructure (Uberbau) influenced by a substructure (Unterbau).
TypeDepartmental Bulletin Paper
東京大学宗教学年報. ⅩⅥ , 1999.3.31, pp. 97-106