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Hallowed Secularism: Theory, Belief, Practice Hardcover – March 3, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"Secularism is western society's new reformation, sweeping away the influence of bad religion--but the more it dominates, the more it reveals its weakness and failings. Ledewitz argues not for an end of secularism, but for a reform of secularism itself, to rediscover the hope, vision and inspiration that feed the human soul."--Michael Hampson, Author of God without God

“Ledewitz has written a remarkably suggestive and daring book that deserves serious and widespread attention. He begins with a recognition of a practical failure on two sides of the question of ‘reason and revelation.’ His argument has broad appeal, because he gives compelling articulation to a ground held by many who lack the categories to name what is religiously possible and required in a post-modern world.”--Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary

“In this thoughtful work, Ledewitz asks all the right questions. He then puts forth an ambitious platform upon which all people, religious and secular, can meet to seek out, work out, and live out answers. His proposal is a useful challenge to everyone. The task is to be true to the open and inquiring spirit of our age while remaining open to the Wisdom of the Ages. To lose either is to lose our hope for the future, our integrity, or both. All religious traditions and non-religious perspectives and the spaces in-between have a place in this arrangement. So with the aid of all the communications technologies available to us today, let the conversation begin!”--Rabbi Carl Choper, Executive Director, The Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, PA

“At a time when ‘new atheist’ polemics are having some success at setting the secularist agenda, Hallowed Secularism is refreshing and instructive. Ledewitz neither dismisses nor demonizes religion, but rather shows a keen sense for the formative influence of Judaism and Christianity on contemporary western culture, of how secularists today might benefit from continued constructive engagement with doctrines and virtues—such as sin and obedience—inherited from these traditions. The book exhibits an open, self-critical and realistic attitude from which everyone, religious or secular, can learn.”--Tyler Roberts, Professor of Religious Studies, Grinnell College; Author of Contesting Spirit: Nietzsche, Religion, Affirmation (1998)

About the Author

Bruce Ledewitz is Professor of Law at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is the author of the widely-praised book, American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics and is a former Secretary of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. 


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1 edition (February 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230614027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230614024
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,119,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Ledewitz is Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 1980. He is a recognized expert in the fields of criminal law and constitutional law. He has been active in public life, serving as Secretary to the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty from 1985-1990. His Platform for Reform of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was recently the subject of a statewide series of debates sponsored by the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters. He has written widely in both specialized legal journals and national media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. His latest book, Hallowed Secularism: Theory, Belief, and Practice, was published in March 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan. His earlier book, American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics (Praeger 2007), was the subject of debate on the Thom Hartmann radio program and was favorably reviewed in the Journal of Law and Religion. The book has been the subject of academic programs and there have been reviews in various academic outlets. Professor Ledewitz' views on the role of religion in the 2008 Presidential campaign have been published in the Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Newsday and other newspapers. Professor Ledewitz received a B.S.F.S. degree from Georgetown School of Foreign Service in 1974 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1977. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert Taylor, Federal District Judge, Eastern District of Tennessee, 1977-1979 and as a Assistant Public Defender in Allegheny County from 1979-1980. He is a listed co-author with Harry Jaffa of Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: Disputed Question (Regnery Gateway 1994).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Fred Bichl on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book gives me the impression that it was written by a cornered religious animal striking out at everything that isn't fully committed to a religious life. Secularism is a failure. Hallowed secularism says that if in spite of everything you still prefer secularism, the only way it can work is to increase your belief in all things religious, especially christian religiousness. The Bible is the only truth, and it is an absolute truth. There are absolutely no other options. The book reeks of far right conservatism. This book absolutely stinks.

Beyond all that, the price is set ungodly high. More profits for the greedy right wing organization sponsoring it.

My preferred star rating for this book is MINUS 5, but the scale doesn't go that far.
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