In Praise of Doubt

In Praise of Doubt

by Peter Berger, Anton Zijderveld
     
 

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Modernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized. Some even predicted it would disappear. But religion has not only survived—it is growing and thriving in the modern world. Defying predictions, we live today in a world of plurality where diverse groups live under conditions of civic peace and in social

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Overview

Modernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized. Some even predicted it would disappear. But religion has not only survived—it is growing and thriving in the modern world. Defying predictions, we live today in a world of plurality where diverse groups live under conditions of civic peace and in social interaction. However, this arrangement is not without tensions. How do we handle moral issues, such as abortion or homosexuality, when different groups have strongly held but opposing viewpoints? And how does culture maintain its harmony when confronted with the challenge of an aggressive fundamentalism?

The answer, according to world-renowned sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld, is doubt. Not the stupefying doubt of relativism where we become incapable of any decision because we are overwhelmed by options, but a virtuous use of doubt that allows us to move forward boldly with strong moral convictions without caving in to the fanatic's temptation of seeing everyone who disagrees with you as the enemy. How we as individuals and as a society can find this ideal balance is the subject of this deceptively simple but revolutionary work.

In Praise of Doubt takes the reader on an exciting whirlwind tour of the history of modernity, religion, the rise of psychology, Marxism, and the intellectual challenge of relativism, the failure of totalitarianism, fundamentalism as a modern invention, and the startling conclusion explaining why truth, even religious truth, needs doubt to survive and thrive.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061898440
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/04/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,143,522
File size:
239 KB

Meet the Author

Peter L. Berger is an internationally renowned sociologist and faculty member at Boston University, where in 1985 he founded its Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. He is the author of The Social Construction of Reality, The Homeless Mind, and Questions of Faith.


Anton C. Zijderveld holds doctorates in both sociology and philosophy. He is on the faculty of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Among his many books are The Abstract Society, On Clichés, and Reality in a Looking Glass.

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