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Beyond IdolsThe Shape of a Secular Society$
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Richard K. Fenn

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143690

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195143698.001.0001

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Starting on the Path to Secularity

Starting on the Path to Secularity

The Agony of the Possible

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 Starting on the Path to Secularity
Source:
Beyond Idols
Author(s):

Richard K. Fenn (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195143698.003.0003

Secularization has democratized the legitimate interpretation of personal experience and strengthened the authority of the individual over and against the church and the state. Since the thirteenth century, the church has been losing its monopoly on the interpretation of spiritual experience in dreams and visions and in encounters with the dead. A highly complex and secularized society has multiple and open channels for encounters between the living and the dead. Democratic politics and natural science have their origins in movements to demystify and popularize discourse about the dead and about the unconscious.

Keywords:   church, dead, dreams, politics, sacred, secular, society, state, unconscious, visions

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