Beyond Idols: The Shape of a Secular Society
This book attempts to articulate the nature of a secular society, describe its benefits, and suggests the conditions under which such a society could emerge. To become secular, argues Fenn, is to open oneself and one's society to a wide range of possibilities, some interesting and exciting, some burdensome and dreadful. While some sociologists have argued that a "Civil Religion" is necessary to hold together our newly "religionless" society, Fenn urges that there is nothing to fear--and everything to gain--from living in a society that is not bound together by sacred memories and beliefs, or by sacred institutions and practices.
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1 Idols Idolatry and Unnecessary Suffering
The Agony of the Possible
3 Heroes Charismatic Figures and Celebrities as Cultural Idols
Creativity Secularity and the Creation of Space for the Present Generation
From Civil Religion to Public Religiosity
6 Stifling the Sociological Imagination
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American civil religion argue authoritarian authority become beliefs Bellah boundaries brotherhoods Bryan Wilson celebration Celts Christian church cial civil religion claim Constitution context cred cultural dead diffuse discourse dreams Durkheimian embodiment enshrined ethnic ethnic nationalism faith forms France freedom future ghosts global Herbert Marcuse heroes human identity idolatry idols imagination individual individual’s institutionalized institutions interests Jean-Claude Schmitt Kung larger society legitimate ligion living Marcuse memory monastic monks moral mystery nation nation-state oath one’s past political potential profane psyche public religiosity range of possibility range of social reality principle reli religious repression ritual Robert Bellah role Roman sacred sacred mystery sacrifice Schmitt secular society seek Senate sense Shinto simply soci social order social possibility social system society’s sociologists solidarity speak spectrum spirit symbols tendencies texts threats tion tional traditional U.S. Senate Vercingetorix vidual wide range Willaime