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Book Title: The Secular Sacred|
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The author of the book: Michael Bennett
Edition: Michael Bennett
Date of issue: February 27th 2014
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 513 KB
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Starting from a concern with the loss of meaning and moral motivation that followed the decline of religious and traditional values subsequent to the attack on them from relativism and postmodernism, Bennett investigates how we might find a new basis for moral behaviour that rests on a rational and secular basis. Drawing on Habermas’s theory of communicative action he argues that, within communication, there are inherent, pragmatic presuppositions that are universal. Proceeding by means of a careful analysis he argues that we can approach these universals (truth, justice and authenticity) as a basis for an understanding of a secular sense of the sacred.
Following a brief critique of multiculturalism Bennett suggests that religions still articulate an interesting approach to such deep existential issues as loss, suffering and death which fail to find an adequate response in rationalist cultures. He seeks to ‘translate’ such religious concepts as anamnesis, consolation, the Kingdom of God, the sacred, redemption and sin into a secular framework that can inspire moral motivation.
Because reason is an insufficient source of moral motivation Bennett investigates how narratives, which act like myths, can be reflexively constituted and interpreted. The rich symbolic texture of myths can be a powerful means of encouraging people to engage in an identification with the values enshrined in the secular sacred. Myths have a strong connection with ritual practices. He explores this relationship and proposes that it is perfectly possible to create new rituals that consciously know themselves to be rituals and are able to provide support for the psychological transformations that myths can procure.
This reflexive approach to the secular sacred and myths is based on the cognitive, emotional and psychological competence of participants. Throughout Bennett investigates how these competencies work and considers a range of aspects of selfhood (autonomy, authenticity, intersubjectivity, decentredness). These competencies, assisted by mythological narratives and rituals which can comply with the epistemological constraints of communicative rationality, are essential in enabling an identification with a secular sacred that can provide a basis for moral motivation.
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Read information about the authorMichael Bennett is a three-time Pro Bowler, Pro Bowl MVP, Super Bowl Champion, and two-time NFC Champion. He has gained international recognition for his public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, women’s rights, and other social justice causes. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root, was the Seattle Seahawks nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and was honored along with his brother Martellus with a BET Shine a Light award for exceptional service.
He is the cofounder with Pele Bennett of The Bennett Foundation, which educates underserved children and communities through free, accessible programming. He has held free camps and health clinics in Seattle, in his hometown of Houston, in his current offseason home, Honolulu, and in South Dakota on the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.
He donates all of his endorsement money and the proceeds from his jersey sales to fund health and education projects for poor and underserved youth and minority communities, and recently expanded his reach globally to support STEM programming in Africa.
He is the proud father of three daughters, Peyton, Blake, and Ollie.
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