This title was first published in 2002.Christian Language in the Secular City offers a series of meditations by the internationally renowned sociologist, David Martin. Martin presents a distinctive angle of vision on key issues of Christian faith, dividing the book into three clear sections: the Liturgical Year; the Christian agenda, including prophecy, justification, sacred places and spaces, wisdom, providence, peace and war, angelic and demonic; and Emergent Occasions such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 900th anniversary of Winchester Cathedral, commemoration of poets and of martyrs, and more. With its uniquely lyrical presentation, David Martin's book transposes central issues of theology and Christian faith into a new key. This work complements David Martin's theoretical book focusing on Christian Language and its Mutations, published in Ashgate's Religion and Theology in Interdisciplinary Perspective series. David Martin is Honorary Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University, and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, UK. He is the author of some two dozen books, including Divinity in a Grain of Bread, and many landmark titles in the sociology of religion.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword, Rowan Williams; Preface; Introduction: the language of Christianity: story, body and sign; Christian alignments in liturgical sequence; Faith’s repertoire; Emergent occasions: celebration and mourning in sacred spaces; Index.
’These are sermons of intense feeling, but they invite us not to explorations of our individual sentiments but to a sensing of the truths exposed - 'classical' truths of Christian faith. They deserve repeated pondering and savouring. I am profoundly thankful that there are such 'classical' voices for us to hear in the contemporary church. Without them, what we say is going to be less than adequate to the complex and exhilarating realities of God and humanity.’ The Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury ’This is a rich and stimulating set of sermons. David Martin has the tact, insight and learning to repristimate ancient tradition and apply it - with good humour and sharpness - to the ordinarinesses and strangenesses of life.’ John Drury, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, UK 'The Martin who preaches is ... a great teacher of spirituality, justly praised in a Foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a theologian of much the same character.' TLS 'My guess is that when David Martin goes into the pulpit in Guildford Cathedral, which is where most of these sermons were preached, the congregation sits up, attentive and expectant. David Martin is a distinguished sociologist, but of a profound Christian thinker... (The sermons) have been printed and published well, and even the paperback is a delight to handle and to read... there is a lyrical quality to them which compels the attention of reader and listener alike;... profoundly good sermons, which do precisely what good sermons should do, stimulate people to think imaginatively and creatively about God and about humanity.' Theology 'You read and you hear the background hum of transcendence, the intellectual pressure of indubitability as the author's words, like a fragrance, convey the very unconditional grace which is the theme of this lovely book. In the direct presentation of image, sign, landscape, facial expression and tone of voice, we are reminded of the highest sermons ever compose