In Praise of Doubt
How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
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We are stuck. Both as a culture and as individuals‚ we find it much easier to articulate what we are against and find ourselves at a loss for words when we need to articulate what we are for. World−famous sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld team up to present a profound treatment of how we can have confidence in our convictions−in such ideals as democracy‚ human rights‚ equality under the law‚ etc.−without succumbing to the radical doubts of relativism and the certainties of fundamentalism. With new lenses for seeing the influence modernism‚ relativism‚ and fundamentalism‚ they explore the roles of humor‚ doubt‚ and social norms that help us have convictions without grasping them so tightly that we become fanatical.
Peter L. Berger is an internationally renowned sociologist and faculty member at Boston University, where in 1985 he founded its Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs. He is the author of The Social Construction of Reality, The Homeless Mind, and Questions of Faith.