In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions without Becoming a Fanatic

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9780061778179: In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions without Becoming a Fanatic

We are stuck. Both as a culture and as individuals we find it much easier to articulate what we are against and find ourselves at a loss for words when we need to articulate what we are for. World famous sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld team up to present a profound treatment of how we can have confidence in our convictions in such ideals as democracy human rights equality under the law etc. without succumbing to the radical doubts of relativism and the certainties of fundamentalism. With new lenses for seeing the influence modernism relativism and fundamentalism they explore the roles of humor doubt and social norms that help us have convictions without grasping them so tightly that we become fanatical.

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Review:

We need more books like this: books that advance an argument, and do so concisely, wittily, with great learning lightly worn. --John Wilson, editor, Books & Culture

IN PRAISE OF DOUBT is a book of great practical wisdom by authors who have profound insight into the intellectual dynamics governing contemporary life. --Dallas Willard, author of Knowing Christ Today

Brilliant yet clear, highly illuminating and often humorous, this is vintage Berger spiced with Zijderveld's philosophical perspectives. In Praise of Doubt is essential reading for people of all faiths - and not least secularists. --Os Guinness, author of The Case for Civility

About the Author:

Peter L. Berger is an internationally renowned sociologist, and the founder of Boston University's Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. He was born in Vienna and came to the U.S. in his late teens. He has a master's degree and a doctorate from the New School for Social Research in New York. After two years in the United States Army, he taught at the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina before going to the Hartford Seminary Foundation as an Assistant Professor in Social Ethics. In 1992, Peter Berger was awarded the Manes Sperber Prize, presented by the Austrian government for significant contributions to culture. He is the author of many books, among them The Social Construction of Reality, The Homeless Mind, and Questions of Faith. Anton C. Zijderveld is a Dutch sociologist and professor emeritus. He has studied in the Netherlands and in the United States and holds doctorates in both sociology and philosophy. He was on the faculty of Erasmus University in Rotterdam from 1985 to 2002, and taught briefly in the United States and Canada. Since 1990, Zijderveld has been a bi-weekly columnist for Het Financieele Dagblad in the arts and culture section. He is an amatuer cellist and pianist. He lives with his wife, Angelika E. Dissman, and has four children. Among his many books are The Abstract Society, On Clichés, and Reality in a Looking Glass.

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