Religion in the National Agenda

Religion in the National Agenda

What We Mean by Religious, Spiritual, Secular

by C. John Sommerville

253 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781602581630
  • Published: February 2009

$29.95

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In this highly provocative investigation, C. John Sommerville examines common linguistic uses of the terms "religion," "religious," "spiritual," and "secular" in order to discern understandings of these words in contemporary American culture. For example, he finds that, in English, "religion" is our word for a certain kind of response to a certain kind of power (the power and the response both being beyond anything else in our experience). Sommerville then uses these definitions to examine the ways that institutions in the fields of education, science, law, politics and religion are affected--often in unexpected ways--by a shared set of assumptions about what these words mean.