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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 Biblical Sources of Secularization

The Biblical Sources of Secularization

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 The Biblical Sources of Secularization
Source:
The Secular City
Author(s):

Harvey Cox

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158853.003.0002

This chapter studies the biblical sources of secularization, showing how three pivotal elements in the biblical faith have each given rise to one aspect of secularization. The disenchantment of nature begins with the Creation; the desacralization of politics with the Exodus; and the deconsecration of values with the Sinai Covenant, especially with its prohibition of idols. The chapter argues that far from being something Christians should be against, secularization represents an authentic consequence of biblical faith. This is why it is no mere accident that secularization arose first within the culture of the so-called Christian West, in the history within which the biblical religions have made their most telling impact. As such, rather than oppose it, the task of Christians should be to support and nourish it.

Keywords:   secularization, biblical faith, disenchantment, Creation, desacralization, Exodus, deconsecration, Sinai Covenant, Christian West, biblical religions

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