Title Secular Nations under New Gods
Subtitle Christianity’s Subversion by Technology and Politics
Author Willem H. Vanderburg
ISBN 9781487523039
List price USD 42.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 448
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book Send Enquiry


“Vanderburg’s approach to evaluating Christianity and liberating it from the grasp of politics and technique is unique. Certainly those that share Vanderburg’s goal have not adopted his comparative interdisciplinary method.”

Noah Toly, Director of the Center for Urban Engagement and Professor of Urban Studies and Politics and International Relations at Wheaton College

“The erudition of the author is irreproachable. Like the preceding monographs of Willem H. Vanderburg, Secular Nations Under New Gods targets a rather large public of persons interested in comprehending the technological society and the upheavals of our epoch. This time, this public can be extended to a confessing Christian readership.”

Frédéric Rognon, Professor in the Faculté de Théologie Protestante at the Université de Strasbourg


The ongoing political muscle-flexing of diverse Christian communities in North America raises some deeply troubling questions regarding their roles among us. Earlier analyses including Herberg’s Protestant, Catholic, Jew showed that these three branches of the Judaeo-Christian tradition correspond to three forms of the American way of life; while Kruse’s One Nation Under God showed how Christian America was shaped by corporate America. Willem H. Vanderburg’s Secular Nations under New Gods proceeds based on a dialogue between Jacques Ellul’s interpretation of the task of Christians in the world and Ellul’s interpretation of the roles of technique and the nation-state in individual and collective human life. He then adds new insight into our being a symbolic species dealing with our finitude by living through the myths of our society and building new secular forms of moralities and religions. If everything is political and if everything is amenable to discipline-based scientific and technical approaches, we are perhaps treating these human creations the way earlier societies did their gods, as being omnipotent, without limits. Vanderburg argues that until organized Christianity becomes critically aware of sharing these commitments with their societies, it will remain entrapped in the service of false gods and thereby will continue to turn a message of freedom and love into one of morality and religion.



Introduction • A Secular Way of Life in Search of Spirituality? • Where Are We and What Have We Done? • Seeing and Listening • People of a Time, Place, and Culture • People of a Time, Place, and Universal Technical Order • People of the Word

Chapter 1: The Possibility and Impossibility of Living a Secular Life • How Secular Have We Become? • Language, Swearing, and the Sacred • A Creation for Freedom without a Sacred • A Creation for Love without Eros

Chapter 2: The Roots of a Non-secular Life: Religion and Morality as Symptoms of Evil • Uprooting and Re-rooting the Creation’s Fabric of Relationships • The End of Secular Human Life • God’s Covenant and Humanity’s Life Support • The Beginning of Human History • A New Beginning without God

Chapter 3: Language, Myth, and History • Making a Name • The Word, Human Words, and Cultures • Socially and Historically Naming Ourselves • Culture and Revelation • The Subversion of Symbolization

Chapter 4: Born Neither Free nor Equal, but Loved • An Enslaved Humanity • The Flesh and the World • A World Ruled by Principalities and Powers • The Demonic Powers • The Satanic Powers • Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse • The City as the Seat of the Powers

Chapter 5: The Law, the Spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven • The Law and the Jewish People • The Law of Freedom • The Spirit • The Kingdom of Heaven

Chapter 6: Christianity in the Grip of Vanity and Chasing after the Wind • Why Give the Last Word to Qohelet? • Vanity and Myths • Wisdom and Myths • God and Our Myths




About the Author:

Willem H. Vanderburg is the founding director of the Centre for Technology and Social Development and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Target Audience:

People interested in religion and politics.

Special prices are applicable to the authorised sales territory only.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.