The Secular Revolution
Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life
Edited by Christian Smith
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Secular Revolution by Christian Smith
Book DescriptionSociologists, historians, and other social observers have long considered the secularization of American public life over the past hundred and thirty years to be an inevitable and natural outcome of modernization. This groundbreaking work rejects this view and fundamentally rethinks the historical and theoretical causes of the secularization of American public life between 1870 and 1930. Christian Smith and his team of contributors boldly argue that the declining authority of religion was not the by-product of modernization, but rather the intentional achievement of cultural and intellectual elites, including scientists, academics, and literary intellectuals, seeking to gain control of social institutions and increase their own cultural authority. Writing with vigor and a broad intellectual grasp, the contributors examine power struggles and ideological shifts in various social sectors where the public authority of religion has diminished, in particular education, science, law, and journalism. Together the essays depict a cultural and institutional revolution that is best understood in terms of individual agency, conflicts of interest, resource mobilization, and struggles for authority. Engaging both sociological and historical literature, The Secular Revolution offers a new theoretical framework and original empirical research that will inform our understanding of American society from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. The ramifications of its provocative and cogent thesis will be felt throughout sociology, religious studies, and our general thinking about society for years to come.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520235618
(229mm x 152mm x 31mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 4-Jun-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Christian Smith
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Sexting. Cyberbullying. Narcissism. People-and especially the media-are consumed by fears about the effect of social media on young people. We hear constantly about the dangers that lurk online, and about young people's seemingly pathological desire to share anything and everything about themselves with the entire world.
Paradox of Generosity, Hardback (September 2014)
In The Paradox of Generosity, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson offer vital insight into how American adults conceive of and demonstrate generosity. Focusing not only on financial giving but on the many diverse forms philanthropy can take, they show the impact-both positive and negative-that giving has on individuals.
Young Catholic America, Hardback (March 2014)» View all books by Christian Smith
Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen examine the development of the religious and spiritual lives of American Catholic teenagers as they grow up, graduate from high school, and leave home.
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Author Biography - Christian Smith
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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