Cover image for True religion
True religion
Ward, Graham.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2003.
Physical Description:
ix, 168 pages ; 23 cm.
Religion before and after secularism -- True religion and temporal gods -- True religion and consumption -- True religion as special effect.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BL48 .W189 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Through reference to plays, poetry, novels, films and painting, this manifesto traces the genealogy of 'true religion' in the western world and makes six controversial claims about the past, present and future of religion.

Traces a transformation in the way religion is understood and performed in the western world.
Makes several major claims about the past, present and future of true religion.
Uses cultural metaphors as ways into understanding religion.
Refers to plays, poetry, novels, paintings and films, including Romeo and Juliet, Moby Dick, The Exorcist and Stigmata.
Suggests that the end of wars between nations could result in a return of wars of faith.
Part of the prestigious Blackwell Manifestos series.

Author Notes

Graham Ward is Professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics at the University of Manchester. He has been called 'the most visionary theologian of the generation'.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The Blackwell Manifesto series is designed to "engage and challenge" readers, and Ward, the eminent Manchester University theologian, does precisely that. In graceful prose, he charts the changing views of "True Religion" (TR) from Shakespeare to the present in a study that combines piercing insights with evocative analyses of Romeo and Juliet, Robinson Crusoe, and Moby Dick, as well as various films. The book begins in the 16th century, when TR bound the sacred and the secular together, moves through the Enlightenment, which emphasized ethics, to the Romantic era, which viewed TR largely as feeling and intuition. The advent of the postmodern era, with its ubiquitous films, electronic media, and locales such as the Holy Land Theme Park in Orlando, has helped turn TR into shallow special effects. Ward argues that liberal, secular society, which had carefully quarantined religion into a separate sphere, has suddenly imploded amidst a democratic reenchantment of the world. Although he predicts increasing cultural clashes, he concludes with a plea that each historic faith recognize its interdependence and the sacred spaces shared by all. This volume is certain to evoke discussion, as the series intends. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. F. M. Szasz University of New Mexico

Table of Contents

1 Religion Before and After Secularism
2 True Religion and Temporal Gods
3 True Religion and Consumption
4 True Religion and Special Effect

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