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After Modernity?

Secularity, Globalization, and the Reenchantment of the World

James K. A. Smith, editor

Publication Year: 2008

After Modernity? addresses a cluster of questions and issues found at the nexus of globalization and religion. This unique volume examine various religious-especially Christian-evaluations of and responses to globalization. In particular, the book considers the links among globalization, capitalism and secularization-and the ways in which"religion"is (or can be) deployed to address a range of"hot button"topics. With cross-disciplinary analyses, the collection argues consistently for the necessity of a"post-secular"evaluation of globalization that unapologetically draws on the resources of Christian faith. The"conservative radicalism"represented in these contributions will resonate with a broad audience of scholars and citizens who seek to put faith into action.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This book represents some of the fruit of a national research conference that was generously funded by the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso University in 2005. Staged as the fifth annual national research conference sponsored by the Lilly Fellows Program, their support provided a unique opportunity to bring together an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars to engage complex and challenging phenomena at the ...

Part I: Introduction

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pp. 1

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1. Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-enchantment of the World

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pp. 3-13

Despite the confident prognostications of social scientists in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries regarding the “withering” of religion and the inevitable secularization of the world, at the turn of the millennium talk of globalization and the march of modernity is inextricably linked with the phenomenon of religion.1 In our début de siecle climate—in an “age of terror” and in the wake of September ...

Part II: Rethinking Secularity, Secularization, and Globalization

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pp. 15

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2. The Gift of Ruling: Secularization and Political Authority

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pp. 17-43

Today, it seems, all the ancient global realities have fallen under a kind of secular last judgment, heralded by the onset of a secular Armageddon. What is Islam, and is it violent and intolerant? What is Catholicism, and is it sexually hypocritical and sadistic? What is Christianity, and is it an irrational sect? What is Europe, and is it inherently bureaucratic and decadent? What is America, and is it inherently violent and expansionist?

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3. The Time Between: Redefining the “Secular” in Contemporary Debate

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pp. 45-65

As one surveys the ecclesiastical landscape in the United States, it is difficult to resist the impression that the body of Christ is more a constellation of political action committees than a communion founded, sustained, and expanded through the ministry of word and sacrament. As the Protestant left and right are rival siblings of an American revivalism that regarded the church as a society of moral transformers, it may be wildly optimistic to imagine a ...

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4. Probing the Links between Security and Secularization

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pp. 67-97

The “secularization thesis” has become a dominant theme in the academic study of religion over the course of the modern period. Those holding to this thesis credit that heady period of intellectual foment and ferment known as the Enlightenment with inaugurating historical processes of rationalization that would ultimately spell the end of religion as a publicly significant cultural phenomenon.

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5. Alienated Masterpiece: Adorno’s Contribution to a Transformative Social Theory

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pp. 99-120

Dialectic of Enlightenment deserves the label Theodor Adorno gave the Missa Solemnis: “alienated masterpiece.” With only one modification, his comments on Beethoven’s celebrated and misunderstood composition can express the reception accorded Horkheimer and Adorno’s work: “Every now and then . . . it is possible to name a work in which the neutralization of culture has expressed itself most strikingly; a ...

Part III: Boundaries and Borders in a Globalized World

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pp. 121

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6. Space, Place, and the Gospel: Theological Exploration in the Anthropocene Era

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pp. 123-141

I want to start by drawing on two biblical stories: the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). In the Tower of Babel narrative, the people say, “Let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves” (Gen 11:4). They believe nothing is impossible: they have the resources, they have the technology. They don’t need God. In fact, they don’t even want him around. They are masters of Nature and ...

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7. The Duty of Care to Refugees, Christian Cosmopolitanism, and the Hallowing of Bare Life

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pp. 143-163

Some speculate that one outcome of contemporary globalization is the decline of the nation-state and the emergence of global, post-national forms of citizenship underwritten by human rights and international law. However, attention to the treatment of refugees suggests that, despite the globalization of economies and cultures, nation-states will remain the primary location of political belonging and organization for the foreseeable future. Yet attention to ...

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8. “Faith” as Mediator in Legitimizing Global Market Integration? A Preliminary Probe

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pp. 165-181

The first task is largely descriptive and historical, with a focus on the late nineteenth-century United States and the late twentieth- century European Union. The second task, though also descriptive, involves the normative judgment that legitimate global market integration is on balance a good thing. “Legitimacy” will be defined below as social acceptance and embeddedness, but not necessarily social justice (as normally conceived).2

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9. Globalization and the Problem of the Nature/Culture Boundary

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pp. 183-200

Inherent to any discussion of human-environment relations are the interrelated issues of the globalization of the market, the nature of reality (ontology), and our understanding of how we gain knowledge of nature (epistemology). Both regulation and the marketing of aspects of nature, fueled by the forces of the global market, involve assumptions about the ontological state of nature, and thus our ability to divide and bound aspects of it.

Part IV: Practices of Re-enchantment

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pp. 201

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10. Religion after Democracy

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pp. 203-217

Globalization, like secularization, is proving to be an ideology—that is, a myth masquerading as natural law, even divine providence.1 But it is only as it discloses itself as such that we begin to observe and are able to analyze the various elements that constitute its potency, and analyze the imaginative strengths that create credencies, enjoin belief, and capture hopes, dreams, and desires.

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11. Celebrating the Church Year as a Constructive Response to Globalization

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pp. 219-240

A few years ago, I pulled a Granny Smith apple out of our family’s refrigerator and began to peel a thumbnail-sized sticker off its waxy green skin—a sticker that said, “New Zealand, ENZA, Granny Smith, #4017.” For once, at least, I stopped to think about what I was doing. New Zealand is nearly ten thousand miles from my family’s home in Ohio, and yet we paid ninety-nine cents a pound for these apples. Without even thinking about it, I was eating in a global food economy.

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12. Agrarianism after Modernity: An Opening for Grace

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pp. 241-258

Modernity defies gravity.2 In multiple ways the various trends of secularization, commodification, individualism, industrialism, urbanization, standardization, technological hype, and, most recently, global markets have torn asunder the gravitational threads that bind us to each other, to the earth, and to God. In the last several centuries we have all become witnesses to one of the greatest of cultural upheavals in which human and natural properties have been ...


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pp. 259-322


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pp. 323-327

Index of Names

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pp. 329-333

Subject Index

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pp. 335-336

E-ISBN-13: 9781602582262
E-ISBN-10: 1602582262
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602580688
Print-ISBN-10: 1602580685

Page Count: 340
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Globalization -- Religious aspects -- Christianity -- Congresses.
  • Secularization -- Congresses.
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