Denison Journal of Religion


Wise's article deals with the impact that the secularized world has had on religious communities. Specifically, Wise looks into the manner in which secularization has changed the American Christian community. The American Christian community, Wise claims, has responded in two major ways to the growing secularity in American culture.

The orthodox response refuses to accept any of the influences of secularity. The more progressive response has so embraced some of the influences of secularity that it leads to a loss of some religiosity. She argues that secularization has so stratified the Christian community that Berger's twin purposes of religion"world-maintaining and world-shaking"are no longer integrated in the community. While orthodoxy continues to maintain the world, and progressiveness shakes the world, each is weaker by not joining with the other.

Wise concludes that the binding of these two purposes and religious perspectives can come together through ritual which allows the religious to reclaim language and symbols to re-familiarize themselves with the challenges embedded in their faith. This ability to refocus n central challenges of their faith will help Christians to find common ground and work in unity to build a more just and compassionate world.


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