Beyond Idols: The Shape of a Secular Society

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Oxford University Press, Jun 21, 2001 - Social Science - 208 pages
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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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Contents

Introduction
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
7 Ambiguity Controversy and the Limits of Language as the Bearer of the Sacred
Religionless Christianity
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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