Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life

Christian Smith


Sociologists, historians, and other social observers have long considered the secularization of American public life over the past hundred and thirty years to be an inevitable and natural outcome of modernization. This book rejects this view and fundamentally rethinks the historical and theoretical causes of the secularization of American public life between 1870 and 1930. The editor and his team of contributors argue that the declining authority of religion was not the by-product of modernization, but rather the intentional achievement of cultural and intellectual elites, including scientists ... More

Keywords: secularization, American public life, modernization, authority of religion, cultural authority, individual agency, conflicts of interest, resource mobilization, struggles for authority

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780520230002
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520230002.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian Smith, editor