Peter L. Berger

Born: March 17, 1929

Occupation: Sociologist

Quotes of Peter L. Berger

Peter L. Berger

There are times in history when the dark drums of God can barely be heard amid the noises of this world. Then it is only in moments of silence, which are rare and brief, that their beat can be faintly...

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Peter L. Berger

A few years ago, a priest working in a slum section of a European city was asked why he was doing it, and replied, 'So that the rumor of God may not completely disappear.

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Peter L. Berger

To be located in society means to be at the intersection point of specific social forces. Commonly one ignores these forces one also knows that there is not an awful lot that one can do about this.

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Peter L. Berger

One can't understand the Christian Right and similar movements unless one sees them as reactive - they're reacting to what they call secular humanism

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Peter L. Berger

Some people think that as the Chinese economy becomes more and more capitalistic it will inevitably become more democratic

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Peter L. Berger

There is a continuum of values between the churches and the general community. What distinguishes the handling of these values in the churches is mainly the heavier dosage of religious vocabulary involved

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Peter L. Berger

It has been true in Western societies and it seems to be true elsewhere that you do not find democratic systems apart from capitalism, or apart from a market economy, if you prefer that term

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Peter L. Berger

Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore's, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy

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Peter L. Berger

If the cultural elite has its way, the U.S. will be much more like Europe

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Peter L. Berger

The basic fault lines today are not between people with different beliefs but between people who hold these beliefs with an element of uncertainty and people who hold these beliefs with a pretense of certitude

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Peter L. Berger

We also have a cultural phenomenon: the emergence of a global culture, or of cultural globalization

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Peter L. Berger

The problem with liberal Protestantism in America is not that it has not been orthodox enough, but that it has lost a lot of religious substance

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Peter L. Berger

If you say simply that pressures toward democracy are created by the market, I would say yes

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Peter L. Berger

In a market economy, however, the individual has some possibility of escaping from the power of the state

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Peter L. Berger

Let me say again that the relationship is asymmetrical: there's no democracy without a market economy, but you can have a market economy without democracy.

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Peter L. Berger

Our institute's agenda is relatively simple. We study the relationship between social-economic change and culture. By culture we mean beliefs, values and lifestyles. We cover a broad range of issues, and...

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Peter L. Berger

Even if one is interested only in one's own society, which is one's prerogative, one can understand that society much better by comparing it with others.

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Peter L. Berger

The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened.

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Peter L. Berger

I'm sure Putnam is right that there's been a decline in certain kinds of organizations like bowling leagues. But people participate in communities in other ways.

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Peter L. Berger

Religion is the human attitude towards a sacred order that includes within it all being-human or otherwise-i.e., belief in a cosmos, the meaning of which both includes and transcends man.

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Peter L. Berger

But we don't have an example of a democratic society existing in a socialist economy - which is the only real alternative to capitalism in the modern world.

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Peter L. Berger

If you are good for nothing else, you can still serve as a bad example.

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Peter L. Berger

Some people seem to gravitate from one fundamentalism to another, from some kind of secular fundamentalism into a religious fundamentalism or the other way around, which is not very helpful.

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Peter L. Berger

Language is capable of becoming the objective repository of vast accumulations of meaning and experience, which it can then preserve in time and transmit to following generations.

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Peter L. Berger

When certain branches of the economy become obsolete, as in the case of the steel industry, not only do jobs disappear, which is obviously a terrible social hardship, but certain cultures also disappear.

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Peter L. Berger

I think what I and most other sociologists of religion wrote in the 1960s about secularization was a mistake. Our underlying argument was that secularization and modernity go hand in hand. With more modernization...

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Peter L. Berger

The negative side to globalization is that it wipes out entire economic systems and in doing so wipes out the accompanying culture

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Peter L. Berger

He who sups with the devil had better have a long spoon. The devilry of modernity has its own magic: The [believer] who sups with it will find his spoon getting shorter and shorter--until that last supper...

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Peter L. Berger

In science, as in love, a concentration on technique is likely to lead to impotence.

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Peter L. Berger

In acute suffering the need for meaning is as strong or stronger than the need for happiness.

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss