Time Exposure: The Personal Experience of Time in Secular Societies

Hardcover | December 14, 2000

byRichard K. Fenn

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In his new book, Richard Fenn looks at the way in which we experience time in a secular society. He argues that secularization is virtually synonymous with individualism. Fenn shows that the Church created the idea of individualism through its demysitification of the universe, its insistenceon individual self-discipline, and its intensification of individual responsibility for the use of time. Required to take responsibility for his or her own standing in the eyes of God, the individual emerged from the protection of the Church into the full current of time. No longer protected byProvidence or connected to Eternity, our lives have become radically temporal and contingent. Fenn explores the modern experience of time, as expressed in such phrases as "wasting time" and "making up for lost time." In particular, he is interested in the idea of waiting, which he believes is adefining characteristic of modern life. He also argues that the secularization of time produced anxiety about death, and shows the various strategies we have created for dealing with this anxiety. Beautifully written and thoughtfully argued, this volume raises the secularization debate to a new level of depth and sophistication.

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In his new book, Richard Fenn looks at the way in which we experience time in a secular society. He argues that secularization is virtually synonymous with individualism. Fenn shows that the Church created the idea of individualism through its demysitification of the universe, its insistenceon individual self-discipline, and its intens...

Richard K. Fenn is Professor of Christianity and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary.

other books by Richard K. Fenn

Christ and Human Rights: The Transformative Engagement
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Format:HardcoverPublished:December 14, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195139534

ISBN - 13:9780195139532

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"In this unusual and powerful book, the author, a sociologist and a theologian, pursues a rich and many-layered discourse on the way time is used (and abused) in contemporary secular society. Ingeniously exploiting diverse and unlikely sources, he illustrates how public and privateperceptions of time and commemoration take on diverging symbolic meaning for modern man, who is at once both the creation and the victim of the secularization process. With rare eloquence and subtlety, Fenn examines the secularizing approach to time to be found in the gospels, the Church,contemporary film and drama, to produce a work of impressive originality. Even before one has finished reading this book for the first time, one knows that one will certainly read it again." Bryan Wilson, All Souls College, Oxford