Rethinking Secularization: Philosophy and the Prophecy of a Secular Age

Rethinking Secularization: Philosophy and the Prophecy of a Secular Age provides a philosophical appraisal of secularization in light of the recent re-emergence of religion in the public sphere. It explores the adequacy of classical theories of secularization, and, rooted in historical and conceptual analysis, what might be offered in their place today. Responding to the once dominant theories of a global, world-historical emancipation from an inherited religious past to a modern secular age, the volume also considers the extent to which philosophy itself has inspired and nourished such prophecies.

As a result, a more sophisticated view of secularization emerges, both more interesting and complex than the simple linear process it is often thought to be. From the conceptual origins of secularity in the writings of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas to the contemporary secularization theories of Hans Blumenberg, Marcel Gauchet, and Charles Taylor, Rethinking Secularization considers philosophy’s own relationship to the concept of secularization. It reflects the trend in contemporary philosophy to rethink the relation between religion and modernity, and includes systematic contributions to the debate. The book would appeal to a wide range of readers in philosophy, sociology, religious studies, and intellectual history.


HERBERT DE VRIESE is assistant and PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Antwerp. His main fields of interest are critique of metaphysics and philosophy of culture, with a focus on nineteenth-century German philosophy, particularly Young Hegelianism. He is co-editor of 1830-1848. The End of Metaphysics as a Transformation of Culture (Leuven: Peeters, 2003) and The Reason of Terror. Philosophical Responses to Terrorism (Leuven: Peeters, 2006). Currently he is preparing a dissertation on the phenomenon of ‘pure criticism’ within Young Hegelianism.

GARY GABOR is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Fordham University. His main field of research is ancient philosophy. He has previously published on Aristotle and Lucretius and presented on topics including the history of Neoplatonism, logic, and natural reason in medieval poetry. He is currently preparing a dissertation on Neoplatonic logic in the Aristotelian commentators, and will be preparing an English translation of Boethius’s commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Leuven (2009-10).

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ISBN: 1-4438-1008-8

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-1008-1

Release Date: 13th August 2009

Pages: 450

Price: £49.99

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