Across the Secular Abyss: From Faith to Wisdom

Overview

Across the Secular Abyss explains the cultural chasm we currently face, with a traditional religion-based society behind us, and an as-yet unknown secular society ahead. For over a century, scholars, social scientists, and policy makers have debated the apparent erosion of religious faith and wondered whether Western Civilization was turning its back on religion. Today, the issue has reached a crisis point. In the U.S., a new battle between faith and science has erupted within educational institutions, as ...

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Overview

Across the Secular Abyss explains the cultural chasm we currently face, with a traditional religion-based society behind us, and an as-yet unknown secular society ahead. For over a century, scholars, social scientists, and policy makers have debated the apparent erosion of religious faith and wondered whether Western Civilization was turning its back on religion. Today, the issue has reached a crisis point. In the U.S., a new battle between faith and science has erupted within educational institutions, as political polarization progressively divides the country along religious lines. After a century-long truce in which religion and science implicitly agreed to leave each other alone, science is again invading the territory of religion, most obviously in cognitive science that is debunking religious notions of the human soul, and in the broad convergence of many branches of science into one that leaves few gaps where supernatural beliefs could survive. Religion, for its part, is resisting a range of emerging technologies that could transform human nature, namely human reproductive cloning and the kinds of transformative technologies advocated by the Transhumanist movement. Although pure Atheism has little to offer people, and Atheists tend to be people lacking in social obligations, entirely new possibilities are offered by emerging technologies such as computer emulation of human personalities.

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Editorial Reviews

February 2008 CHOICE
Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739116784
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/20/2007
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

William Sims Bainbridge is a consultant for the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University and the author of many books and articles in the sociology of religion, science, and technology, including The Future of Religion (with Rodney Stark), The Sociology of Religious Movements, The Endtime Family, God from the Machine, Goals in Space, and Nanoconvergence.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Secularization Chapter 3. Well-Being Chapter 4. Fertility Chapter 5. Crime and Deviance Chapter 6. The New Age Chapter 7. Scientistic Religions Chapter 8. Atheism Chapter 9. Cognitive Science Chapter 10. Technological Transcendence Chapter 11. An Age of Transition Chapter 12 Appendix. Tables

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