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Modernity's Wager: Authority, the Self, and Transcendence and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Modernity's Wager Hardcover – November 15, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"Mr. Seligman's analysis of modernity is insightful and thought-provoking."--Damon Linker, The Wall Street Journal

"This book is an erudite critique of existing traditions of Western thought, especially in sociology. . . . [It] offers an excellent critique of the hole that social science has gotten into in trying to understand a rational yet authoritative social order."--Choice

"A very valuable contribution to the sociological study of religion, with strong relevance to philosophy and theology as well. Any work that can connect such diverse domains deserves to be applauded."--Steven D. Boyer, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"This very timely book is about authority and its connection to the constitution of selfhood and to related notions of community and the sacred. Adam Seligman proposes a very bold thesis. . . . He develops it with substantive and nuanced arguments."--Thomas A. Byrnes, Journal of Religion

From the Inside Flap

"Writing on the borderlands of sociology and theology, Seligman has provided an engaging and original account of the problem of modernity. He has identified several factors and forces that are irreducible in the contemporary search for meaning and order."--Jonathan B. Imber, Wellesley College, Editor-in-Chief of Society.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691050619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691050614
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,857,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By praxishabitus on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seligman provides an excellent essay that challenges modernity's wrongly-held belief in the autonomous self. While he asserts the significance of authority in human relationships, I believe the book is stronger as an extended statement regarding the social embeddedness of human beings. It debunks the often touted belief in increased individual isolation due to fundamental social changes that supposedly tear apart social ties. For this alone, the book is highly instructive and intellectually entertaining. Will interest anyone who has spent time thinking about the place of the self in the modern world.
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