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Secularisation (New Century Theology) [Paperback]

By Edward Norman (Author)
Our Price $ 33.96  
Retail Value $ 39.95  
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Item Number 136469  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.14" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.51 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2002
Publisher   Continuum International Publishing Group
ISBN  0826459455  
EAN  9780826459459  

Availability  0 units.

New Century Theology - Full Series Preview
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Item Description...
Secularisation is not a systematic attempt--of the sort which might be made by a social scientist--to describe and identify every feature of a fading religious landscape. It is a landscape, indeed, which was once familiar, and yet which now appears almost unrecognisable to those who have lived within it all their lives. They and many external observers are saddened by the decline of institutional religion in Britain and cannot clearly discern the full nature of the causes. Edward Norman, author of An Anglican Catechism and Out of The Depths, holds to account a number of the fundamental transformations in religious understanding itself which help the reader to grasp the bigger picture of the decline of the Church in Britain.>

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More About Edward Norman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward Norman is Chancellor of York Minster. Part of the Peterhouse group (with Roger Scruton, David Watkin and John Vincent), he is the most persuasive and articulate exponent of what has been termed the new right . He was formerly Dean of Peterhouse, Cambridge and has been a Reith lecturer.

Edward Norman has an academic affiliation as follows - Cambridge University.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
"...a bracing little book...."  May 28, 2008
I believe it was Richard John Neuhaus who approvingly described this as a "bracing little book." I have handed this book to three people now, and in each case these folks told me they went on to buy it for others or used it in a discussion group. I tend to write provocative questions to myself at the end of each chapter as a way to relearn the chapter when I return to it after a length of time. Here is a sampling of questions that are answered just in chapter 1:

1) How do X-ians confuse Humanism with X-ianity?
2) What are possible dangers of humanist 'caring' in a X-ian context?
3) How can Humanism corrupt X-ian morality?
4) Humanism knocks out a prop of X-ianity. What's the prop and how does it knock it out?
6) Why might art and music flourish more in a Humanist culture?

Norman tends to trip his readers up and he'll make your eyes bulge at times, and then as you read a passage over and over you'll suddenly realize that he's got it right--at least within a Christian context. Think you're a fairly orthodox Christian? Norman might put you in your place. Bracing and thought-provoking are the right words for this wonderful book.

P.S. the review entitled "Eeeeeekk!" draws ridiculous parallels and conclusions, but its an interesting review because the response, I think, is exactly what Norman would predict from a secular humanist reader. Norman explains quite well why such a response is typical within the church today, and how we got there.
a profound analysis of society and state  Feb 16, 2007
This is the second work by Edward Norman that I have read (the other being his Anglican Difficulties). From the start, I will admit my bias: I belong to the category that Schori recently noted as emphasizing the fallen nature of a humanity in dire need of redemption; concomitantly I'm also cynical of modernist secular propositions that the state or technology will play a salvific role in alleviating the human condition.

And here we come to Norman: he examines in a penetrating analysis how contemporary society and the state are guided by principles which privilege material welfare, and why it is that the Church has accommodated this. In doing so, he covers considerable terrain: humanism, commodification, pluralism, racism, authority and priesthood (among others) in which he time and again disrupts conventional thinking on progress and reform.

His writing is subtle and elegant, and my chief complaint would be the absence of footnotes. But then, the format is perhaps something akin to his Reith lectures, and hence this is a minor quibble.

Read it.
Eeeeeeekkkkkk!  Jul 20, 2002
The book is subtitled "New Century Theology," but forget about that--the author seems to be living in a past millennium. He pines for the good old Inquisition days when Christian dogma was shoved down everyone's throat, people despised themselves and "live[d] in terror of hell" (his words), and those uppity women weren't making pests of themselves by desiring some kind of status in the men's-club Church. He even speaks positively of the Islamic countries because they put serving God ahead of human welfare. Yeesh! If he thinks reverting to this kind of society is an improvement, I suggest he take a look at all the videotapes of Taliban-style executions and harrassment in Afghanistan, because that's the ultimate result of the kind of doctrinaire fundamentalism he seems so eager to force on everyone.
The only thing he got right, in my opinion, was that most people are turned off by the "passing the peace." (I know I personally am.) All I can say about the rest of the book is that: (a) he's a cleric in the Anglican church, so he's got a financial stake in whether it survives, and (b) if he's so hyped up on hating yourself and fearing hell, he's never really tried it. As someone who was brought up with these doctrines, I can tell him they are a horrible way to live, and if you truly believe them you will end up pretty close to insane. I would suggest Mr. Norman take a long, logical look at the bizarrity of Christian doctrine (and the results of strictly applying it: Calvin's Geneva, perhaps) before recommending we go back several hundred years to the "good old days."

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