The sociologist Max Weber saw the Enlightenment as the period when science started to take over from religion as the way of comprehending human existence, and became the defining character of modernity. The process of casting magic and superstition aside in favour of rationality he defined as 'disenchantment': no longer was the world a place of supernatural signs and natural magic. In the second of a special series of programmes looking at some of the key concepts in social science, Laurie Taylor explores the idea of disenchantment with three experts. David Voas, Sam Whimster and Linda Woodhead, discuss how the idea has been applied to understanding the development of secular societies and whether we are now entering a phase of re-enchantment.
Producer: Charlie Taylor.