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The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life

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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  23 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Sociologists, historians, and other social observers have long considered the secularization of American public life over the past hundred and thirty years to be an inevitable and natural outcome of modernization. This groundbreaking work rejects this view and fundamentally rethinks the historical and theoretical causes of the secularization of American public life between ...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published June 4th 2003 by University of California Press (first published 2003)
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Harold Koenig
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a remarkable compilation of observations covering the past 140 years. The essay on "The Christian Century" and the decline of some liberal churches away from theism and prayer and toward good works and psychotherapy is especially interesting.

If you're the kind of person who wants to know Materialism, Empiricism, and Utilitarianism came to dominate almost all thinking, I expect you'll find this collection of essays informative and gloomily fascinating.
Elizabeth
Aug 26, 2008 marked it as read-part-for-class
Required reading for class:
* Christian Smith, "Preface" and "Introduction" (vii-96)
* David Sikkink, "From Christian Civilization to Individual Civil Liberties: Framing Religion in the Legal Field, 1880-1949" (310-354)
* George M. Thomas, Lisa R. Peck and Channin G. De Haan, "Reforming Education, Transforming Religion, 1876-1931" (355-394)
* John H. Evans, "After the Fall: Attempts to Establish an Explicitly Theological Voice in Debates over Science and Medicine after 1960" (434-462)
* one other art
...more
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Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Smith's research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture.
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