The Death of Secular Messianism argues that, the claims of secularists notwithstanding, modernity did not so much abandon humanity's historic search for the divine, but rather transposed it into a new, innerworldly key. This "secret religion of high modernity" came in both positivistic and humanistic variants. The first sought to overcome finitude by means of scientific and technological progress. The second sought to overcome contingency by creating a collective Subject--the Modern Democratic State or the Communist Party--in and through which human beings would become the masters of their own destiny. In making his case for this thesis, the author outlines a new political-theological and social-theoretical perspective which saves what is best in modernity--its focus on human creative activity and its commitment to rational autonomy and democratic citizenship--while re-engaging humanity's great spiritual traditions.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Anthony Mansueto's book is an important contribution to the history of thought. He describes the roots and history of the contemporary world's 'civilization crisis' with an outstanding analytic mind and an encyclopedic knowledge of philosophy and the social sciences. This alone would be a considerable help in understanding the situation. But starting with those reflections, he goes further in studying what could be an answer to the crisis . . . This large synthesis, rigorously elaborated in a very clear language, is a milestone in contemporary social philosophy."
--Francois Houtart Professor Emeritus of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and founder of the Tricontinental Center
Anthony E. Mansueto
Anthony E. Mansueto is President and Senior Scholar at Seeking Wisdom.