Peter Berger on Modernity

Peter Berger has influenced my thinking in relation to modernity a great deal. Here are a few quotes of his I noticed in some of my research notes which struck me as insightful:

If there is going to be a renascence of religion, its bearer will not be the people who have been falling all over each other to be ‘relevant to modern man’.” (191)

“Transcendence has been, shall we say, declared ‘inoperative’ by the major agencies that ‘officially’ define reality—the universities, the school system, the medical system, the communications media, and to some extent even the courts.” (202)

“I believe that such a world view without transcendence must eventually collapse, because it denies ineradicable aspects of human experience.” (210)

The quotes here are from his 1977 collection, Facing up to Modernity (New York: Basic).


Author: duanemiller

I was born in Montana and grew up in Colorado and Puebla (in Mexico). I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and then an MA in theology at St Mary's University (also in San Antonio). Later life took me to Jordan where my wife and I studied Arabic, to Israel where I helped found a seminary, and to Scotland for doctoral work, among other places. I live in Madrid now where I teach and minister. I'm highly interested in the interactions of Islam, Christianity and secularism in modern contexts. My main areas of research for my PhD in divinity were religious conversion from Islam to Christianity, contextual theology, and the shari'a's treatment of apostates. I've also published research on global Anglicanism and the history of Anglican mission in the Ottoman Empire. I've had the pleasure of teaching in many places over the years: from Costa Rica to Turkey, and Kenya to Tunisia. I am associate professor at the Protestant Faculty of Theology at Madrid (UEBE) and priest at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid, Spain. Visit my blog ( or page for more information.

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