In his new book, Spiritual Bankruptcy (Abingdon Press), philosopher John Cobb Jr. maps out some of the pros and cons of secularism.
Cobb believes the religions and philosophies that took root in the socalled Axial Age, about 500 years before Jesus of Nazareth, began as “secularizing” movements.
Early Judaism, Buddhism and Greek philosophy challenged the religious authorities of their day, condemning hypocrisy and superstition.
The fiery Hebrew prophets, who denounced injustice and royal arrogance at every turn, were profound secularizers, according to the refreshing definition provided by Cobb, director of the Centre for Process Studies in Claremont, Calif.
This article deserves a lot of commentary, perhaps this week. I have often made a similar point about the Axial Age, that, e.g. Greece, shows the real birth of modern secularism, and with Old Testament monotheism, an attempt to ‘rationalize’ religion (with contradictory success).