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Prophesies of GodlessnessPredictions of America's Iminent Secularization from the Puritans to Postmodernity$
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Charles T Mathewes and Christopher McKnight Nichols

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342536.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

 The Sixties

 The Sixties

Secularization and the Prophesies of Freedom

(p.175) 9 The Sixties
Prophesies of Godlessness

Slavica Jakelić

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that during the 1960s there was an increasing affinity between the notion that de‐institutionalized religion is something good and the intellectual and social sensibilities of the period. Two views on secularization and de‐institutionalization of religion, those of Christian theologian Harvey Cox and sociologist Peter L. Berger, mirrored the intellectual and social climate of the time and were broadly discussed and debated. In this chapter Slavica Jakelić argues that Berger and Cox's claims about the inevitable link between deinstitutionalization of religions and modernity were persuasive because they happened in a context in which “religionless religion” was increasingly becoming the ideal of religious life. Berger and Cox talked of the de‐institutionalization of religion as progress that brought about freedom for individuals to choose. Their prophecies of godlessness were the prophecies of freedom.

Keywords:   Harvey Cox, Peter L. Berger, Secularization Thesis, secularization and modernity, secularization in sociology of religion, secularization in theology, sixties, 1960s deinstitutionalization of religion, religionless religion

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