secular_age.jpgAs I read Wendy Brown’s recent post on A Secular Age, I see that I made a bad job of communicating my intent. I organized the book in sections, and the main thrust of my account comes in the first half. Crucial to my view is a Foucault-influenced notion of Reform as both feeding on and further potentiating certain disciplines, which become woven into our family, work, schooling and professional lives and hence continue to define us. What I call the “buffered self” is one facet of what results. All this is taken as given in the later parts where I discuss certain developments of the last two centuries. I took too easily for granted that the reader would take this on board, because I do refer back to it from time to time, but the focus later turns to how this works out in the battle of ideas; what changes need to be made in sociological secularization theory; how both sides hide the weaknesses of their positions, and other matters. But all that only makes sense against the developments of the buffered, disciplined self which evolves precisely through the modern state, nascent capitalist economy, disciplinary institutions, and so on.