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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 Church as Cultural Exorcist

The Church as Cultural Exorcist

(p.177) Chapter 7 The Church as Cultural Exorcist
The Secular City

Harvey Cox

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the contemporary extension of exorcism in the ministry of the church in the secular city. Men must be called away from their fascination with other worlds—astrological, metaphysical, or religious—through which they wrongly perceive the social reality around them, and from habitual forms of action or inaction stemming from these illusions. This is the work of social exorcism. The ministry of exorcism in the secular city requires a community of persons who, individually and collectively, are not burdened by the constriction of an archaic heritage. It requires a community which, if not fully liberated, is in the process of liberation from compulsive patterns of behavior based on mistaken images of the world. In performing its function, the church should be ready to expose the fallaciousness of the social myths by which the injustice of a society is perpetuated and to suggest ways of action which demonstrate the wrongness of such fantasies.

Keywords:   exorcism, secular city, social reality, social exorcism, social myths

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