ABSTRACT

A final challenge to sociological and philosophical secularization theses goes like this: religion may no longer provide the imaginative framework for our institutional life, science and art and politics may play their own games, yet we may still interrogate that practice for the traces of the sacred. Rene Girard said that the capitalist market is a way in which a civilization that has had to confront the truth about sacrifice and live with the potential for violence finds a solution in a form of social order that is entirely experimental. But that is a strange combination of Christian triumphalism and political defeatism. What else is there?