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Forces of Secularity in the Modern World

Volume 1

Series:

Stephen Strehle

Stephen Strehle is a leading scholar of church/state issues. In this volume, he focuses his rigorous historical analysis and philosophical acumen upon a topic of great interest today and source of cultural wars around the globe—the process of secularization. The book starts with a discussion of early capitalism and how it saw the real world functioning well-enough on its own principles of individual struggle and self-interest, without needing religious or moral principles to meddle in its affairs and eventually dispelling the need for any intelligent design or providential orchestration of life through the work of Darwin. The book then discusses the growth of the secular point of view: how historians dismissed the impact of religion in developing modern culture, how scientists conceived of the universe running on self-sufficient or mechanistic principles, and how people no longer looked to the providential hand of God to explain their suffering. The book ends with a discussion of how the Deist concept of human autonomy became a political policy in America through Jefferson’s concept of a wall of separation between church and state and how the US Supreme Court proceeded to dismiss the importance of religion in shaping or justifying the values of the nation and its laws. The book is accessible to most upper-level and graduate students in a wide-variety of disciplines, keeping technical and foreign words to a minimum and leaving scholarly details or debates to its extensive notes.

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STUDIES IN RELIGION, POLITICS, AND CULTURE

Joseph Prud’homme

General Editor

Washington College Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture explores the role of religious belief in political and cultural life, both in the United States and across the world. Special emphasis is placed on theoretical, historical, and legal assessments of the relationship of religion to public life, the meaning and practice of citizenship, and cultural development. Empirical work is also welcome.

For additional information about this series or for the submission of manuscripts, please contact:

Dr. Joseph Prud’homme

Director, Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture

Washington College

300 Washington Avenue

Chestertown, MD 21620

E-mail: jprudhomme2@washcoll.edu

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