A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural

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A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural
A Rumor of Angels (Berger book).jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorPeter L. Berger
CountryUnited States
Publication date
Media typePrint

A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural is a 1969 book about sociology by the sociologist Peter L. Berger. The book is one of Berger's most important works on the topic of the sociology of religion.[1] A Rumor of Angels had a profound influence within the American religious establishment as well; his work is frequently cited in church sources.[2]


Marginalization of religion[edit]

In Berger's studies, religion was found to be increasingly marginalized by the increased influence of the trend of secularization. Berger identified secularization as happening not so much to social institutions, such as churches, due to the increase of the separation of church and state, but applying to "processes inside the human mind" producing "a secularization of consciousness."[3]

Theoretically, Berger questioned the then current secularization/modernization scheme, suggesting important modifications to the secularization theory and pointed to the exceptional status of Europe in this regard.[4][5]

Inductive reasons for faith[edit]

Berger notes that, even given the hegemonic dominance of secularization, inductive human experience provides signs of a divine presence through signals of transcendence. Starting with man and his nature, he advances arguments from order, from play, from hope, from damnation, and from humor. These signs of transcendence connect man's aspirations and fears.


  1. ^ Ivan, Andrei. "Social Intolerability of the Christian Revelation: A Comparative Perspective on the Works of Jacques Ellul and Peter L. Berger." In Jacques Ellul and the Technological Society in the 21st Century, pp. 219-228. Springer Netherlands, 2013.
  2. ^ Heelas, Paul, David Martin, and Linda Woodhead, eds. Peter Berger and the Study of Religion. Routledge, 2013.
  3. ^ Marsh, Victor (2007). "Border crossings? Queer spirituality and Asian religion: a first person account". Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review. Australian Psychological Society. 3 (2): 97–108. Archived from the original on 2018-04-02. Retrieved 2016-02-17. Pdf.
  4. ^ Barbato, Mariano; Kratochwil, Friedrich (November 2009). "Towards a post-secular political order?". European Political Science Review. 1 (3): 317–340. doi:10.1017/S1755773909990166. S2CID 144909208.
  5. ^ Barbato, Mariano; Kratochwil, Friedrich V. (2008). "Habermas's notion of a post-secular society: a perspective from international relations". European Political Science Review. Florence: European University Institute. OCLC 535505146. EUI working papers: Max Weber Programme (MWP) 2008/25.