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Harvey Cox

Theologian

Born: 19 March 1929
Birthplace: Malvern, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The Harvard professor who wrote The Secular City

Name at birth: Harvey Gallagher Cox, Jr.

Harvey Cox's 1965 book, The Secular City, was a surprise international bestseller and a conversation starter for scholars and laypeople alike. Human attention, Cox wrote, was turning "away from worlds beyond" and "toward this world and time," toward a new form of community: the modern, secular city and its mobile, anonymous, pragmatic, "technopolitan" ways. Cox argued that this was not an antireligious development, but should be viewed as a maturing of humanity and a promising gift from God, though it would require a radically changed church focused on social change. Cox, a civil rights and antiwar activist, had worked in campus ministry at Temple University and Oberlin College and taught at Andover Newton Theological School before his long Harvard career began in 1965. His many books include The Seduction of the Spirit, Many Mansions: A Christian's Encounter With Other Faiths, and When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Decisions Today.

Extra credit: Educated at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale and Harvard, Cox is an ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches in the Protestant branch of Christianity... To his dismay, Cox was sometimes lumped into the "death of God" movement of the 1960's, possibly because he was among several theologians quoted in Time's 1966 "Is God Dead?" cover story... His children are Rachel, Martin and Sarah.

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