The Charm of Disenchantment: A Quest for the Intellectual Attraction of Secularization Theory [Book Review]

Sophia 49 (3):407-428 (2010)
Abstract
In the course of Western history, philosophy has proven to be an active participant in the process of secularization. This article seeks to examine that philosophical role more closely. The central question is how the role of philosophy must be rethought in light of the contemporary critique of classical secularization theory. The first part of the article sheds light on the current crisis of secularization theory. Drawing on recent scholarship in the social sciences, it explains why the classical tenets and assumptions of secularization theory are no longer being considered as plausible and empirically grounded hypotheses. Against that background, the second part turns to philosophy. It examines the implications for a philosophical tradition of religious criticism that has consciously operated within this once-undisputed model of secularization. The question is how this critique of religion must be rethought, if its prominent role in the history of modern philosophy can no longer be ascribed to a general secularization of the Western mind. The third and final part attempts to answer this question by focusing on one of the most frequently overlooked, yet most significant and crucial elements in the history of philosophical secularization: the intrinsic intellectual attraction of religious disenchantment
Keywords Secularization  Disenchantment  Religion  Critique of religion  Philosophy of history  Enlightenment
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Jeffrey E. Green (2005). Two Meanings of Disenchantment. Philosophy and Theology 17 (1-2):51-84.
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