Something Old, Something New

Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity

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Wayne Glausser
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , April
     216 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Robert A. Yelle forthcoming.


Something Old, Something New: Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularityoffers a fresh perspective on debates surrounding religious and secular thinking. In each chapter, Wayne Glausser focuses on a topic of contemporary relevance in which something old (the sacrament of extreme unction, Greek rhetorical tropes, scholastic theology) entangles with something new (psilocybin therapy for the dying, the New Atheism, cognitive science). Glausser uses the term "entanglement" to describe his distinctive approach to the relationship between religion and secularity. The concept of entanglement refers to a contentious but oddly intimate relationship in which secular ideas compete with corresponding religious convictions, but neither side wins by displacing the other. As traditional religious knowledge and values come into conflict with their secular counterparts, the old ideas undergo stress and adaptation, but the influence works in both directions. Whether they do so consciously or unconsciously, entangled secularists engage with and sometimes borrow from older paradigms they believe they have surpassed. Something Old, Something New takes an unusual approach to this popular debate, and offers a new perspective in the conversation between believers and secularists. This is a book that theists, atheists, agnostics, and everyone still searching for the right label will find respectful but provocative.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Wayne Glausser is Professor of English at DePauw University. He is the author of Locke and Blake: A Conversation across the Eighteenth Century, the Cultural Encyclopedia of LSD, and a number of essays on literary and interdisciplinary topics, including the recent "Limbo, Pluto, Soprano: Negative Capability in Three Underworlds."

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