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God is Dead: Secularization in the West (Religion in the Modern World) Paperback – 22 Apr 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (22 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631232753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631232759
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.1 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'Steve Bruce's book has all the hallmarks of his work: clarity, verve, graphic illustration and common sense. The argument isBruce's cumulative statement of the secularization theme, bringingthe various elements together in an impressive synthesis, as wellas building in counter-arguments, such as those to do with the roleof religion in ethnic solidarity. Within its own terms and specificcontext - western liberal democracies, and especially Europe- it is difficult to refute.'
--David Martin, London School of Economics

"Bruce's book is a compelling, vigorous and scrupulously fairdefense of what the secularization paradigm means and does notmean. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

"The sooner churches face up to Bruce's thesis, the better."(Ministry Today)

"Readable, debatable, and full of important insights oneverything from the failure of New Age religions to a cautiousdefense of the golden age of religion thesis, it is a book that alllibraries should own. No serious (or even casual) student ofreligion can afford to neglect it." (Choice)

..".the pace and style of Bruce's narrative, the crispness andclarity of his argument, and his frequent digs at aspects of thecontemporary mood...make God is Dead a truly entertainingand enlightening book."
--Michael Rosie (British Sociological Association NetworkMagazine)

"Readable, debatable, and full of important insights oneverything from the failure of New Age religions to a cautiousdefense of the golden age of religion thesis, it is a book that alllibraries should own. No serious (or even casual) student ofreligion can afford to neglect it." (Choice)

"This book is exactly what the back cover claims: a robustdefense of the secularization thesis...The writing and thepresentation are both concise and clear, offering a resource thatstudents will cherish." (Theology)

"[T]his volume is a welcome resource for teachers/scholarsinterested in current theoretical disputes in the sociology ofreligion as well as students of the religious change in particularcultures of the West." (Religious Studies Review)

"[T]he pace and style of Bruce's narrative, the crispness andclarity of his argument, and his frequent digs at aspects of thecontemporary mood...make God is Dead a truly entertaining andenlightening book." (BSA Network)

Synopsis

Christianity in the democracies of the 'first' world has been declining in power, popularity and prestige for a century. However, many commentators, social scientists as well as church leaders, try and minimize the extent of this change. They maintain that religious sentiment remains strong despite declining levels of church involvement, and insist that secularization is an academic myth. In this robust defense of the secularization paradigm, Bruce elaborates just what Weber, Durkheim, Berger and Wilson thought was happening to religion in the West, and responds to critics of this concept. Specific topics covered include the significance of New Age spirituality, the influence of eastern religions on the West, the impact of science, the charismatic movement, religion and politics in the USA, and the future of religion. Bruce concludes the old orthodoxy was right: cultural diversity, in egalitarian and liberal democracies that place the individual above the community, undermines religious belief. Drawing on a diverse range of international examples, and written by one of the foremost sociologists of religion working today, God is Dead moves the debate about secularization forward.

It will be an invaluable resource for students of sociology of religion, modern religion, Christianity, new religious movements and religion and culture.

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4 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
C. Derick Varn
5.0 out of 5 starsWhat we talk about when we talk about secularization
30 October 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One person found this helpful.
David Ramsay Steele
4.0 out of 5 starsFascinating and convincing
27 April 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
10 people found this helpful.
Commentor
4.0 out of 5 starsMeticulously argumented theory/idea
23 April 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
5 people found this helpful.
Patrick Linsenmeyer
2.0 out of 5 starsBrings nothing new
26 October 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
3 people found this helpful.

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