The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective [NOOK Book]

Overview

Since its initial publication in 1965, The Secular City has been hailed as a classic for its nuanced exploration of the relationships among the rise of urban civilization, the decline of hierarchical, institutional religion, and the place of the secular within society. Now, half a century later, this international best seller remains as relevant as when it first appeared. The book's arguments--that secularity has a positive effect on institutions, that the city can be a space where people of all faiths fulfill ...

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The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective

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Overview

Since its initial publication in 1965, The Secular City has been hailed as a classic for its nuanced exploration of the relationships among the rise of urban civilization, the decline of hierarchical, institutional religion, and the place of the secular within society. Now, half a century later, this international best seller remains as relevant as when it first appeared. The book's arguments--that secularity has a positive effect on institutions, that the city can be a space where people of all faiths fulfill their potential, and that God is present in both the secular and formal religious realms--still resonate with readers of all backgrounds.

For this brand-new edition, Harvey Cox provides a substantial and updated introduction. He reflects on the book's initial stunning success in an age of political and religious upheaval and makes the case for its enduring relevance at a time when the debates that The Secular City helped ignite have caught fire once again.

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Editorial Reviews

Commonweal - Daniel Callahan
[This book] has all the earmarks of a cause célèbre. . . . Cox's treatment of 'secularization' is unflinching.
Christian Science Monitor - Betty D. Mayo
[Cox] has opened up a full-scale debate.
Journal of Economic Issues - Ronald H. Wolf
Offers some brilliant insights. . . . Fascinating and provocative.
First Things - Michael Novak
I can think of few books in the past forty years that so thoroughly broke down so many walls between and among the sects, denominations, and churches that mark the religiously tangled American scene.
Sociological Analysis - Robert J. O'Connell
Fresh, provocative, bold.
Ethics - Fred H. Blum
Poses significant questions and gives challenging answers.
From the Publisher
"[This book] has all the earmarks of a cause clbre. . . . Cox's treatment of 'secularization' is unflinching."—Daniel Callahan, Commonweal

"[Cox] has opened up a full-scale debate."—Betty D. Mayo, Christian Science Monitor

"Offers some brilliant insights. . . . Fascinating and provocative."—Ronald H. Wolf, Journal of Economic Issues

"I can think of few books in the past forty years that so thoroughly broke down so many walls between and among the sects, denominations, and churches that mark the religiously tangled American scene."—Michael Novak, First Things

"Fresh, provocative, bold."—Robert J. O'Connell, S.J., Sociological Analysis

"Poses significant questions and gives challenging answers."—Fred H. Blum, Ethics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848850
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/8/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 498,236
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Harvey Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. He is the author of many books, including most recently "The Future of Faith" (HarperCollins). "The Secular City", his first book, has sold nearly a million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages.
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Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Edition xi
The Secular City: Twenty-Five Years Later xli
Acknowledgments lix
Introduction: The Epoch of the Secular City 1

PART ONE: THE COMING OF THE SECULAR CITY 19
1 The Biblical Sources of Secularization 21

  • Secularization vs. Secularism 22
  • Dimensions of Secularization 26
    • Creation as the Disenchantment of Nature 26
    • The Exodus as the Desacralization of Politics 30
    • The Sinai Covenant as the Deconsecration of Values 37

2 The Shape of the Secular City 46

  • Anonymity 47
    • The Man at the Giant Switchboard 49
    • Anonymity as Deliverance from the Law 56
    Mobility 60
    • The Man in the Cloverleaf 62
    • Yahweh and the Baalim 65

3 The Style of the Secular City 72

  • John F. Kennedy and Pragmatism 74
  • Albert Camus and Profanity 84
  • Tillich, Barth, and the Secular Style 94

4 The Secular City in Cross-Cultural Perspective 102

  • New Delhi and India 104
  • Rome and Western Europe 107
  • Prague and Eastern Europe 110
  • Boston and the United States 114

PART TWO: THE CHURCH IN THE SECULAR CITY 123
5 Toward a Theology of Social Change 125

  • The Kingdom of God and the Secular City 131
  • Anatomy of a Revolutionary Theology 135

6 The Church as God's Avant-garde 148

  • The Church's Kerygmatic Function: Broadcasting the Seizure of Power 151
  • The Church's Diakonic Function: Healing the Urban Fractures 157
  • The Church's Koinoniac Function: Making Visible the City of Man 171

7 The Church as Cultural Exorcist 177

PART THREE: EXCURSIONS IN URBAN EXORCISM 195
8 Work and Play in the Secular City 197

  • The Separation of Places of Work and Residence 198
  • The Bureaucratic Organization of Work 204
  • The Emancipation of Work from Religion 214

9 Sex and Secularization 227

  • The Residue of Tribalism 228
  • Remnants of Town Virtues 242

10 The Church and the Secular University 257

PART FOUR: GOD AND THE SECULAR MAN 283
11 To Speak in a Secular Fashion of God 285

  • Speaking of God as a Sociological Problem 288
  • Speaking of God as a Political Issue 294
  • Speaking of God as a Theological Question 304

Bibliography 321
Index 329

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