The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective
Paperback, 408 pages
Since its initial publication in 1965, The Secular City has been hailed as a classic for its nuanced exploration of the relationships among the rise of urban civilization, the decline of hierarchical, institutional religion, and the place of the secular within society. Now, half a century later, this international best seller remains as relevant as when it first appeared. The book’s arguments — that secularity has a positive effect on institutions, that the city can be a space where people of all faiths fulfill their potential, and that God is present in both the secular and formal religious realms — still resonate with readers of all backgrounds.
For this brand-new edition, Harvey Cox provides a substantial and updated introduction. He reflects on the book’s initial stunning success in an age of political and religious upheaval and makes the case for its enduring relevance at a time when the debates that The Secular City helped ignite have caught fire once again.
Harvey Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. He is the author of many books, including most recently The Future of Faith (HarperCollins).
Part One: The Coming of the Secular City
1. The Biblical Sources of Secularization
2. The Shape of the Secular City
3. The Style of the Secular City
4. The Secular City in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Part Two: The Church in the Secular City
5. Toward a Theology of Social Change
6. The Church as God's Avant-garde
7. The Church as Cultural Exorcist
Part Three: Excursions in Urban Exorcism
8. Work and Play in the Secular City
9. Sex and Secularization
10. The Church and the Secular University
Part Four: God and the Secular Man
11. To Speak in a Secular Fashion of God