The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life

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Christian Smith
University of California Press, Jun 4, 2003 - History - 484 pages
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"Smith provides the reader with a powerful new framework for assessing the secularization of American public life, including a wealth of new insights and historical evidence on religion in American institutions. For those interested in religion's changing role in the public arena, this is essential reading, certain to have tremendous impact."—Roger Finke, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Penn State and coauthor of Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion

"Finally a much welcome sociological study of secularization that eschews assumptions of inevitability in favor of flesh-and-blood institutional histories, from the fields of education, journalism, and law to science, medicine, and even religion itself."—Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of The Creationists

"Secularization has long been talked about as if it were the inevitable product of vast impersonal forces operating above our heads. In this fascinating collection, the authors descend from the stratosphere to investigate the power struggles that actually brought about secularization in education, law, and journalism. A wonderful, arresting book that gives secularization a human face."—Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief

"This book is sure to evoke debate, agreement, contention, and future research by historians, sociologists, political scientists, and scholars of American religion."—Rhys H. Williams, editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
 

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Contents

The Case of Early American
97
The Positivist Attack on Baconian Science and Religious Knowledge
197
Power Ridicule and the Destruction of Religious Moral Reform
216
The Christian Century and Psychologys
269
Framing
310
Reforming Education Transforming Religion 18761931
355
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About the author (2003)

Christian Smith is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the coauthor of Divided By Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (2001, with Michael O. Emerson), and the author of Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want (California, 2000) and American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving (1998).

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