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The Secular CitySecularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective$
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Harvey Cox

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158853

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158853.001.0001

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The Epoch of the Secular City

The Epoch of the Secular City

(p.1) Introduction The Epoch of the Secular City
The Secular City

Harvey Cox

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of secularization, an epochal movement that marks a change in the way men grasp and understand their life together. Secularization is the loosening of the world from religious and quasi-religious understandings of itself, the dispelling of all closed world-views, and the breaking of all supernatural myths and sacred symbols. It represents what another observer has called the “defatalization of history,” the discovery by man that he has been left with the world on his hands, that he can no longer blame fortune or the furies for what he does with it. Secularization is man turning his attention away from worlds beyond and toward this world and this time. However, the forces of secularization have no serious interest in persecuting religion. Secularization simply bypasses and undercuts religion and goes on to other things.

Keywords:   secularization, religion, supernatural myths, sacred symbols, closed world-views

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