I think what I and most other sociologists of religion wrote in the 1960s about secularization was a mistake. Our underlying argument was that secularization and modernity go hand in hand. With more modernization comes more secularization.

Peter L. Berger

If the cultural elite has its way, the U.S. will be much more like Europe.

Peter L. Berger

But we don’t have an example of a democratic society existing in a socialist economy – which is the only real alternative to capitalism in the modern world.

Peter L. Berger

Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore’s, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy.

Peter L. Berger

The problem with liberal Protestantism in America is not that it has not been orthodox enough, but that it has lost a lot of religious substance.

Peter L. Berger

I’m sure Putnam is right that there’s been a decline in certain kinds of organizations like bowling leagues. But people participate in communities in other ways.

Peter L. Berger

Let me say again that the relationship is asymmetrical: there’s no democracy without a market economy, but you can have a market economy without democracy.

Peter L. Berger

There is a continuum of values between the churches and the general community. What distinguishes the handling of these values in the churches is mainly the heavier dosage of religious vocabulary involved.

Peter L. Berger

We also have a cultural phenomenon: the emergence of a global culture, or of cultural globalization.

Peter L. Berger

When certain branches of the economy become obsolete, as in the case of the steel industry, not only do jobs disappear, which is obviously a terrible social hardship, but certain cultures also disappear.

Peter L. Berger

The negative side to globalization is that it wipes out entire economic systems and in doing so wipes out the accompanying culture.

Peter L. Berger

The basic fault lines today are not between people with different beliefs but between people who hold these beliefs with an element of uncertainty and people who hold these beliefs with a pretense of certitude.

Peter L. Berger

Some people think that as the Chinese economy becomes more and more capitalistic it will inevitably become more democratic.

Peter L. Berger

Some people seem to gravitate from one fundamentalism to another, from some kind of secular fundamentalism into a religious fundamentalism or the other way around, which is not very helpful.

Peter L. Berger

So I think one can say on empirical grounds – not because of some philosophical principle – that you can’t have democracy unless you have a market economy.

Peter L. Berger

Even if one is interested only in one’s own society, which is one’s prerogative, one can understand that society much better by comparing it with others.

Peter L. Berger

One can’t understand the Christian Right and similar movements unless one sees them as reactive – they’re reacting to what they call secular humanism.

Peter L. Berger

It has been true in Western societies and it seems to be true elsewhere that you do not find democratic systems apart from capitalism, or apart from a market economy, if you prefer that term.

Peter L. Berger

In a market economy, however, the individual has some possibility of escaping from the power of the state.

Peter L. Berger

If you say simply that pressures toward democracy are created by the market, I would say yes.

Peter L. Berger

Our institute’s agenda is relatively simple. We study the relationship between social-economic change and culture. By culture we mean beliefs, values and lifestyles. We cover a broad range of issues, and we work very internationally.

Peter L. Berger

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