"Smith provides the reader with a powerful new framework for assessing the secularization of American public life, including a wealth of new insights and historical evidence on religion in American institutions. For those interested in religion's changing role in the public arena, this is essential reading, certain to have tremendous impact."Roger Finke, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Penn State and coauthor of Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion
"Finally a much welcome sociological study of secularization that eschews assumptions of inevitability in favor of flesh-and-blood institutional histories, from the fields of education, journalism, and law to science, medicine, and even religion itself."Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of The Creationists
"Secularization has long been talked about as if it were the inevitable product of vast impersonal forces operating above our heads.
In this fascinating collection, the authors descend from the stratosphere to investigate the power struggles that actually brought about secularization in education, law, and journalism. A wonderful, arresting book that gives secularization a human face."Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief
"This book is sure to evoke debate, agreement, contention, and future research by historians, sociologists, political scientists, and scholars of American religion."Rhys H. Williams, editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion