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The Secularization Myth Revisited: Secularism as Christianity in Disguise

Robert H. Nelson


This article examines recent developments in the study of implicit religion and applies these insights to the secularization thesis in sociology. Secularization, rather than being opposed to religion, actually manifests itself as an implicit religion, carrying marks of the previously dominant religious tradition in any given society. Thus, where various Christian traditions were once dominant, one may speak of secular Protestantism, secular Catholicism, or secular Orthodoxy. Secular religion is not as secular as most social scientists once expected. The idea of secularization itself may even be classed as an aspiration of secular religions faith in progress. The article concludes by way of example with an examination of modern environmentalism as a form of implicit Calvinism.

Robert H. Nelson, "The Secularization Myth Revisited: Secularism as Christianity in Disguise,"Journal of Markets & Morality 18, no. 2 (Fall 2015): 279-308.

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