The Search for Fundamentals

The Search for Fundamentals : The Process of Modernisation and the Quest for Meaning

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Modernity dissolves absolute certainties; late modernity dissolves them absolutely. In the modern world system there appears to be no firm, unchallenged ground on which to construct a meaningful canopy. But around the world, many individuals and groups long for a kind of cultural coherence that they believe once existed. They search for fundamentals. While these may be sought in religious traditions, many also aspire to new secular certainties. In their various new forms and contexts the contemporary quests for meaning in turn transform the societies in which they occur. The rich comparative examples in The Search for Fundamentals are used to analyze the sources and consequences of several cultural movements. The book also offers theoretical reflections on the difficulties they experience and on the message they carry for students of modernity.
Audience: A broad readership of scholars and advanced students in the social sciences and humanities.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 294 pages
  • 165.1 x 242.8 x 22.9mm | 612.36g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1995 ed.
  • II, 294 p.
  • 0792335422
  • 9780792335429

Table of contents

Foreword; G. Leibbrandt. Part I: Modernism and the Search for Fundamentals. Introduction; L. van Vucht Tijssen. Theories of Modernisation and the Search for Fundamentals; L. van Vucht Tijssen. Part II: Religion and the Search for Fundamentals. Introduction; F. Lechner. The Search for Fundamentals and Islamic Fundamentalism; S. Amir Arjomand. Modernisation and Islamic Fundamentalism; U. Kupferschmidt. Survival Strategies of Conservative Protestants in Dutch Society; H. Stoffels. World Views in Support of Traditional Christian Religion; R. Eisinga. Fundamentalism: Origins and Influence; F. Lechner. Part III: Secular Values and the Search for Fundamentals. Introduction; J. Berting. Fundamentals and Civil Religiosity; M. ter Borg. Equality and Diversity. Radical Feminism and the Quest for Fundamentals; R. Braidotti. The New Age Movement, Industrial Life and the Search for Fundamentals; P. Heelas. Part IV: Modernisation, Colonialism and the Search for Fundamentals. Introduction; L. van Vucht Tijssen. The Caribbean Counter-Plantation. Rural Formation Heritage and the Contemporary Search for Fundamentals; A. Quintero-Rivera. Preventing or Criticising the Process of Modernisation? The Case of Brasil; O. Velho. Part V: Modernity and the Search for Fundamentals. Introduction; J. Berting. Modernisation, Human Rights and the Search for Fundamentals; J. Berting. Postmodernism and the Quest for Meaning; M. Featherstone. Part VI: Modernisation Theories Revisited. The Search for Fundamentals in Global Perspective; R. Robertson. Modernisation Theories Revisited. Conclusions; L. van Vucht Tijssen. Name Index. Subject Index.
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About Jan Berting

Frank Lechner, Fachanwalt für Sozialrecht in Gießen.
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