Weigert, Andrew J. Books
Dr. Andrew J. Weigert has authored and co-authored over fifty scholarly pieces and eight books, the most recent being Self, Society, and Natural Environment (SUNY Press). Dr. Weigert is currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and teaches courses in environment and on contemporary identity. He received the 2002 University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters Sheedy Award for Undergraduate Teaching and two Kaneb undergraduate teaching awards (multiple recipients) over the last five years. Dr. Weigert is the subject of a biographical entry in the "Encyclopedia of Religion and Society" and listed in various "Who's Who."2004 0-7734-6323-2
Discussion of significant changes in conditions of human living are part of today's context. A salient construct for grasping these issues is "endtime," or narrative transformation of the current situation into religious or secular contexts. This book builds on a sociological approach to cognition, emotions, and constructions of time to show the motivational force of endtime thinking and identity. Six narratives are summarized to illustrate the transformative power of religious narratives by contrast with a scientific and a
philosophical narrative. Religious narratives begin with acts of faith in texts and worldview. Membership in faith communities excludes those who do not believe and projects different futures for believers and non-believers, one saved and the other not. The following summaries illustrate the exclusivist power of such
transformative narratives: Catholic Papal discussion of the Millenium; premillenial dispensationalist fundamentalist Protestant texts; rationales for the group suicide by members of Heaven's Gate at Rancho Santa Fe; and Osama bin Laden's religious legitimations of suicide-martyr terrorist actions. Scientific narratives, by contrast, rely on empirical indicators and public discourse. Any competent person can participate in these narratives, and the world they describe applies to all humans and relevant terrestrial systems. Scientific narratives are inclusivist epistemologically and consequentially. Summaries of empirical aspects of environmental issues and of a philosophical reflection on the current state of the world illustrate the inclusivity of secular transformative narratives. Finally, each person is responsible for choosing a narrative both to believe and to enact. Only those that are empirical and inclusive offer a possibility of this-worldly hope.