The Secularization of Early Modern England: From Religious Culture to Religious Faith / Edition 1

The Secularization of Early Modern England: From Religious Culture to Religious Faith / Edition 1

by C. John Sommerville
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195074270

ISBN-13: 9780195074277

Pub. Date: 04/28/1992

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Secularization is a subject of daunting size and is filled with ambiguity. Through the use of insights gained from anthropology and sociology, and by studying an earlier period than is usually considered, this provocative work overcomes the usual obstacles to exploring and explaining why various aspects of life--art, language, work, play, technology, and power--became

Overview

Secularization is a subject of daunting size and is filled with ambiguity. Through the use of insights gained from anthropology and sociology, and by studying an earlier period than is usually considered, this provocative work overcomes the usual obstacles to exploring and explaining why various aspects of life--art, language, work, play, technology, and power--became divorced from religious values in early modern England. Sommerville helps modern readers understand what life was like in an age in which society was suffused with religion and was as basic to thought as the structure of language. Concentrating not only on a decline of religious belief, which is the last aspect of secularization, he shows that a transformation of England's cultural grammar preceded the loosening of belief, and that this was largely accomplished between 1500 and 1700, much earlier than commonly believed. Sommerville asserts that only when definitions of space and time changed, and language and technology were transformed (as well as art and play) could a secular world view be sustained. Demonstrating that the process was more political and theological than economic or social, Sommerville shows that as aspects of daily life became divorced from religious values and controls, religious culture was supplanted by religious faith--a reasoned, rather than an unquestioned, belief in the supernatural. The first large-scale treatment of the history of secularization, The Secularization of Early Modern England will greatly interest students of history, religion, sociology, anthropology, and literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195074277
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/28/1992
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.90(d)

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