a trendy theological movement of the early 1960s predicated on the assumption of continued SECULARIZATION. It is associated with John ROBINSON, the BISHOP of Woolwich, whose book Honest to God caused a sensation when first published in 1963. The term originated with the German philosopher Friedrich NIETZSCHE in his story of the madman in The Gay Science which was taken up by PROTESTANT theologians in the 1960s to express the REALITY of religion in a SECULAR SOCIETY. The leading exponents of this view were Paul van Burren in The Secular Meaning of the Gospel (1963); Harvey Cox in The Secular City (1965) and Thomas Altizer in The Gospel of Christian Atheism (1966). All three writers appealed to Dietrich BONHOEFFER'S Letters and Papers from Prison (1951) to support their views although it is unlikely that Bonhoeffer would have agreed with their development of his thought.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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