AFTER SECULARIZATION - download pdf or read online

AFTER SECULARIZATION - download pdf or read online

By The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two

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43 T he H edgehog R eview / S pring & S U mmer 0 6 They sell the expensive house in London and retreat to a cottage in Wales or Cumbria to make pottery and run weekend workshops in reiki healing. But the significance for the wider society is negligible. Worse, in many cases the change is no more than the acquisition of a new language to defend old patterns of behavior. Consider the example of sexual exploitation. 15 To use the formal language of Max Weber, world-rejecting religion seems only possible if there is a shared external authoritative source of revelation: the God who punishes those who step out of line.

Recent concern about Islamic fundamentalism in the West and about the reaction of some Western Muslims to such foreign policy matters as the war in Iraq and the Palestinian problem has led some commentators to consider that the church form of religion might enjoy a revival. The idea is that Islamic challenges to Western liberalism and secularity might stimulate a Christian revival, as Europeans with a nominal commitment to their previously dominant Christian traditions feel moved to explore their heritage faith and then acquire a real commitment to it.

1 See my books Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Choice and Religion: A Critique of Rational Choice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); and God is Dead: Secularization in the West (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002). Steve Bruce has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen since 1991. He has written extensively on religion in the modern world and on the interaction of religion and politics. His most recent works in the sociology of religion are Fundamentalism (2001), God Is Dead: Secularization in the West (2002), and Politics and Religion (2003).

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AFTER SECULARIZATION by The Hedgehog Review, Spring & Summer 2006 Volume Eight Numbers One & Two


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