'The author's stated aim is 'to contribute to an understanding of the place occupied by the secular in Christian history and within a Christian understanding of society. I shall try to do so through exploring the origins of [the secular] and the place it held in Christian history until its eclipse in the course of the Western European Middle Ages.' Professor Markus maintains that the idea 'secular' is uniquely Christian in origin, distinct from the related concepts, 'sacred' and 'profane;' his thesis rests on a critique of the social theology of Augustine. One reviewer called Christianity and the Secular
a 'sophisticated defense of the proper autonomy of secular public life, its autonomy from religious control, and its place as a legitimate sphere for Christian activity.' This work is a revisiting of themes in his well-known Saeculum
, now, unfortunately, out of print.
An Eighth Day View:
Examines the place of the secular in Christianity, locating the origins of the concept in the New Testament and early Christianity and describing its emergence as a problem for Christianity following the recognition of Christianity as an established religion, then the officially enforced religion, of the Roman Empire.