In sociology, secularization (or secularisation)[1] is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis expresses the idea that as societies progress, particularly through modernization, rationalization, and advances in science and technology, religious authority diminishes in all aspects of social life and governance.[2][3]

As a second meaning, the term "secularization" may also occur in the context of the lifting of monastic restrictions from a member of the clergy.[4]