Daniel Bell and the need for the sacred

Murphy, Peter (2012) Daniel Bell and the need for the sacred. Quadrant, 56 (1/2). pp. 38-42.

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[Extract] When he died in January 2011, Daniel Bell (b. 1919) was one of the most famous social scientists of his time. Remarkably, he was a conservative sociologist. Conservatives are those who have a disposition to conserve. They have a respect for the past, for tradition, for continuity. Bell was a conservative in this sense. He even owned to being a conservative, though he also qualified that assertion. He was, he said, a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics and a conservative in culture. That qualification itself needs some qualification. The world of the university, where he spent much of his career, is overwhelmingly Left-liberal in its beliefs. If you work in a university you are expected to be either a European-style socialist or an American-style Left-leaning liberal, not a conservative. So Bell had some reason to be cautious about his use of the term conservative. It did him no favours; doubly so as his friend, Irving Kristol, was the godfather of the influential neo-conservative political movement. Nothing is more likely to raise the hackles of university faculty members than the thought that one of their own might be a conservative.

Item ID: 23227
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 0033-5002
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 23:16
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 50%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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