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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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To Speak in a Secular Fashion of God

To Speak in a Secular Fashion of God

(p.285) Chapter 11 To Speak in a Secular Fashion of God
The Secular City

Harvey Cox

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter argues that speaking about God in a secular fashion is both a sociological problem and a political issue. The reason speaking about God in the secular city is in part a sociological problem is that all words, including the word God, emerge from a particular sociocultural setting. When words change their meanings and become problematical, there is always some social dislocation or cultural breakdown which lies beneath the confusion. There are basically two types of such equivocality; one is caused by historical change, the other by social differentiation. However, speaking about God in a secular fashion is not just a sociological problem. Since views of the world in today's period are being politicized, in which the political is replacing the metaphysical as the characteristic mode of grasping reality, “naming” today becomes in part also a political issue.

Keywords:   God, secular city, sociological problem, sociocultural setting, social dislocation, historical change, social differentiation, political issue

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