This collective volume contributes to a growing debate concerning the extent to which we are now living in a 'post-traditional' world. One standard account - most forcefully maintained by post-modernists - is that time has moved on to a point where we are now beyond the injunctions of the past. Yet such claims are increasingly being subjected to scrutiny. Have traditions, and all they stand for, really been left behind? And if not, what is their role in contemporary society? While some contributors to Detraditionalization continue to state the case for the collapse of traditional certainties, somewhat surprisingly, most argue that the sustained voices of authority, which reinforce the pre-established order of things over the self, have by no means lost their significance. They argue that culture has not become lost in a disordered, contingent miasma of post-modernity. They argue for a coexistence thesis: detraditionalizing processes are operating, but so are those to do with retraditionalization, tradition-maintenance and tradition-construction. Finally, there are those contributors who argue that attempts to identify the 'traditional' and the 'detraditional' at all are mistaken.
This exciting and dynamic collection of essays draws together some of the world's leading commentators on these issues and provides valuable insights into the complexities of the role of the past and present during a time of considerable uncertainty.