Christianity and "the World"

Secularization Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry 800 AD to the Present

By David Martin

Christianity and "the World"

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  • ISBN: 9781532660498
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication Date: 1/15/2020
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $21.60

Christianity and "the World"

Secularization Narratives through the Lens of English Poetry 800 AD to the Present

By David Martin

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532660498
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication Date: 1/15/2020
  • Retail Price: $27.00
Web Price: $21.60
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

David Martin was one of the world’s leading commentators on secularization theory. He was also a committed and lifelong reader of English poetry. The present book develops Martin’s argument against simplistic secularization narratives with reference to the history of poetry, a topic with which few social theorists have been concerned. Martin shows the enduring but ever-changing centrality of Christian thought and practice, in its many different forms, to English poetry. Always mindful that the most important aspects of poetry’s history can be captured only by attending to the minutest particulars of individual poems and poets, Martin’s study sheds unexpected light on a wide range of English poets, from Spenser and Shakespeare to T.S. Eliot and Geoffrey Hill. The result is a study at once informed by an authoritative sociological perspective on secularization and richly colored by the singular intensity of Martin’s own reading life.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“This is a genuinely unique book. David Martin—probably the greatest British sociologist of religion in recent decades—maps out the basic tensions between Christianity's innate urge to construct an alternative reality, and its accommodations to that world. . . . A treasury for intellect and imagination alike.”

—Rowan Williams, Master, Magdalene College, Cambridge



“David Martin, the sociologist who taught us that secularization is not a continuous and uni-directional process, but rather a many-stranded and shifting one, now has added a new dimension to this picture. By looking at the whole story through the lens of poetry: poetry not primarily as expression of belief, but through its affinity to invocation, worship, ritual, liturgy. This yields an extraordinarily rich and perspicuous account of the currents of English spirituality through many centuries.”

—Charles Taylor, McGill University



“In a single volume, David Martin brings together a lifetime's work on secularization, a thousand years of English poetry, and deep theological insight. A chronological sequence of reflections relates each of these strands to the others. Readers will arrive by different routes, but all of them will be enriched by what they find. I recommend this book very warmly.”

—Grace Davie, University of Exeter



“Not since George MacDonald’s England’s Antiphon in 1868 has there been an attempt to survey the tradition of English religious poetry in this manner. But David Martin is at once a sociologist, a theologian, and (though he modestly denies it) a penetrating literary critic. The resulting cross-fertilization produces so many fresh insights that one’s whole field of vision is permanently altered.”

Stephen Prickett, University of Glasgow, University of Kent

Contributors-

David Martin

Bio(s)-

David Martin was born in 1929. He was a sociologist and theologian, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Fellow of the British Academy, and an ordained priest in the Church of England. His research concerned problems of secularization, religion and violence, the growth of global Pentecostalism, and the interface of sociology and theology. He published over twenty books and several volumes of sermons.

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