How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World

By Robert Joustra; Alissa Wilkinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
A Short History of the Secular Age

You cannot play God, then wash your hands of the things
that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when
you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore
.

William Adama, Battlestar Gallactica

I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no
system. The universe is indifferent
.

Don Draper, Mad Men

When we talk about the “secular apocalypse,” there’s a problem: defining secular is perverse and often baffling.

Often people use the word to mean non-religious or anti-religious, but if we’re about to argue that even pessimistic, neo-apocalyptic popular culture is “religious,” in one sense, then we need to make the meaning of “secular” more clear. “Non-religious” is only one meaning of secular, and at last count, for instance, the political scientist Daniel Philpott gave about nine meanings for the word.1

In this book, when we use the word secular (with a lowercase s),

1. Daniel Philpott, “Has the Study of Global Politics Found Religion?” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (December 2009): 185.

-10-

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