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Secularism
Author: Andrew Copson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198809131
Pages: 176
Year: 2017-09-28
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Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states -- a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis. Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics -- from the US to India -- and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this short introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: "blasphemy," "apostasy," religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and thought in a divided world.
Rethinking Secularism
Author: Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, Jonathan VanAntwerpen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199796688
Pages: 311
Year: 2011-08-25
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This collection of essays examines how ''the secular'' is constituted and understood, and how new understandings of secularism and religion shape analytic perspectives in the social sciences, politics, and international affairs.
The Sources of Secularism
Author: Anna Tomaszewska, Hasse Hämäläinen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319653946
Pages: 323
Year: 2017-10-05
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This book examines the importance of the Enlightenment for understanding the secular outlook of contemporary Western societies. It shows the new ways of thinking about religion that emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries and have had a great impact on how we address problems related to religion in the public sphere today. Based on the assumption that political concepts are rooted in historical realities, this collection combines the perspective of political philosophy with the perspective of the history of ideas. Does secularism imply that individuals are not free to manifest their beliefs in public? Is secularization the same as rejecting faith in the absolute? Can there be a universal rational core in every religion? Does freedom of expression always go hand in hand with freedom of conscience? Is secularism an invention of the predominantly Christian West, which cannot be applied in other contexts, specifically that of Muslim cultures? Answers to these and related questions are sought not only in current theories and debates in political philosophy, but also in the writings of Immanuel Kant, Benedict Spinoza, Thomas Hobbes, Anthony Collins, Adriaan Koerbagh, Abbé Claude Yvon, Giovanni Paolo Marana, and others.
The Politics of Secularism in International Relations
Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400828015
Pages: 264
Year: 2009-01-10
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Conflicts involving religion have returned to the forefront of international relations. And yet political scientists and policymakers have continued to assume that religion has long been privatized in the West. This secularist assumption ignores the contestation surrounding the category of the "secular" in international politics. The Politics of Secularism in International Relations shows why this thinking is flawed, and provides a powerful alternative. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd argues that secularist divisions between religion and politics are not fixed, as commonly assumed, but socially and historically constructed. Examining the philosophical and historical legacy of the secularist traditions that shape European and American approaches to global politics, she shows why this matters for contemporary international relations, and in particular for two critical relationships: the United States and Iran, and the European Union and Turkey. The Politics of Secularism in International Relations develops a new approach to religion and international relations that challenges realist, liberal, and constructivist assumptions that religion has been excluded from politics in the West. The first book to consider secularism as a form of political authority in its own right, it describes two forms of secularism and their far-reaching global consequences.
The Politics of Secularism
Author: Murat Akan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231543808
Pages: 357
Year: 2017-09-05
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Discussions of modernity—or alternative and multiple modernities—often hinge on the question of secularism, especially how it travels outside its original European context. Too often, attempts to answer this question either imagine a universal model derived from the history of Western Europe, which neglects the experience of much of the world, or emphasize a local, non-European context that limits the potential for comparison. In The Politics of Secularism, Murat Akan reframes the question of secularism, exploring its presence both outside and inside Europe and offering a rich empirical account of how it moves across borders and through time. Akan uses France and Turkey to analyze political actors' comparative discussions of secularism, struggles for power, and historical contextual constraints at potential moments of institutional change. France and Turkey are critical sites of secularism: France exemplifies European political modernity, and Turkey has long been the model of secularism in a Muslim-majority country. Akan analyzes prominent debates in both countries on topics such as the visibility of the headscarf and other religious symbols, religion courses in the public school curriculum, and state salaries for clerics and imams. Akan lays out the institutional struggles between three distinct political currents—anti-clericalism, liberalism, and what he terms state-civil religionism—detailing the nuances of how political movements articulate the boundary between the secular and the religious. Disputing the prevalent idea that diversity is a new challenge to secularism and focusing on comparison itself as part of the politics of secularism, this book makes a major contribution to understanding secular politics and its limits.
American Secularism
Author: Joseph O. Baker, Buster G. Smith
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479867411
Pages: 304
Year: 2015-09-25
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A rapidly growing number of Americans are embracing life outside the bounds of organized religion. Although America has long been viewed as a fervently religious Christian nation, survey data shows that more and more Americans are identifying as “not religious.” There are more non-religious Americans than ever before, yet social scientists have not adequately studied or typologized secularities, and the lived reality of secular individuals in America has not been astutely analyzed. American Secularism documents how changes to American society have fueled these shifts in the non-religious landscape and examines the diverse and dynamic world of secular Americans. This volume offers a theoretical framework for understanding secularisms. It explores secular Americans’ thought and practice to understand secularisms as worldviews in their own right, not just as negations of religion. Drawing on empirical data, the authors examine how people live secular lives and make meaning outside of organized religion. Joseph O. Baker and Buster G. Smith link secularities to broader issues of social power and organization, providing an empirical and cultural perspective on the secular landscape. In so doing, they demonstrate that shifts in American secularism are reflective of changes in the political meanings of “religion” in American culture. American Secularism addresses the contemporary lived reality of secular individuals, outlining forms of secular identity and showing their connection to patterns of family formation, sexuality, and politics, providing scholars of religion with a more comprehensive understanding of worldviews that do not include traditional religion. Data Analyses Appendix Instructor's Guide
Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age
Author: Michael Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Craig J. Calhoun
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674048571
Pages: 337
Year: 2010
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âeoeWhat does it mean to say that we live in a secular age?âe This apparently simple question opens into the massive, provocative, and complex A Secular Age, where Charles Taylor positions secularism as a defining feature of the modern world, not the mere absence of religion, and casts light on the experience of transcendence that scientistic explanations of the world tend to neglect. In Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, a prominent and varied group of scholars chart the conversations in which A Secular Age intervenes and address wider questions of secularism and secularity. The distinguished contributors include Robert Bellah, José Casanova, Nilüfer Göle, William E. Connolly, Wendy Brown, Simon During, Colin Jager, Jon Butler, Jonathan Sheehan, Akeel Bilgrami, John Milbank, and Saba Mahmood. Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age succeeds in conveying to readers the complexity of secularism while serving as an invaluable guide to a landmark book.
Secularism in Antebellum America
Author: John Lardas Modern
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226533255
Pages: 352
Year: 2011-11-11
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Ghosts. Railroads. Sing Sing. Sex machines. These are just a few of the phenomena that appear in John Lardas Modern’s pioneering account of religion and society in nineteenth-century America. This book uncovers surprising connections between secular ideology and the rise of technologies that opened up new ways of being religious. Exploring the eruptions of religion in New York’s penny presses, the budding fields of anthropology and phrenology, and Moby-Dick, Modern challenges the strict separation between the religious and the secular that remains integral to discussions about religion today. Modern frames his study around the dread, wonder, paranoia, and manic confidence of being haunted, arguing that experiences and explanations of enchantment fueled secularism’s emergence. The awareness of spectral energies coincided with attempts to tame the unruly fruits of secularism—in the cultivation of a spiritual self among Unitarians, for instance, or in John Murray Spear’s erotic longings for a perpetual motion machine. Combining rigorous theoretical inquiry with beguiling historical arcana, Modern unsettles long-held views of religion and the methods of narrating its past.
Sex and Secularism
Author: Joan Wallach Scott
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888581
Pages: 256
Year: 2017-10-16
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How secularism has been used to justify the subordination of women Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed and controversial writings have been foundational for the field of gender history. With Sex and Secularism, Scott challenges one of the central claims of the “clash of civilizations” polemic—the false notion that secularism is a guarantee of gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship by second-wave feminists and historians of religion, race, and colonialism, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as a fundamental and enduring principle was not originally associated with the term “secularism” when it first entered the lexicon in the nineteenth century. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the articulation of the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity. Scott points out that Western nation-states imposed a new order of women’s subordination, assigning them to a feminized familial sphere meant to complement the rational masculine realms of politics and economics. It was not until the question of Islam arose in the late twentieth century that gender equality became a primary feature of the discourse of secularism. Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference—ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.
Secularism, Religion, and Politics
Author: Peter Losonczi, Walter Van Herck
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317341422
Pages: 236
Year: 2017-09-19
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This book highlights the relationship between the state and religion in India and Europe. It problematizes the idea of secularism and questions received ideas about secularism. It also looks at how Europe and India can learn from each other about negotiating religious space and identity in this globalised post-9/11 world.
The Making of Indian Secularism
Author: N. Chatterjee
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230298087
Pages: 337
Year: 2011-01-26
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A unique study of how a deeply religious country like India acquired the laws and policies of a secular state, highlighting the contradictory effects of British imperial policies, the complex role played by Indian Christians, and how this highly divided community shaped its own identity and debated that of their new nation.
Secularism and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Germany
Author: Todd H. Weir
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139867903
Pages:
Year: 2014-04-21
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Negotiating the boundaries of the secular and of the religious is a core aspect of modern experience. In mid-nineteenth-century Germany, secularism emerged to oppose church establishment, conservative orthodoxy, and national division between Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Yet, as historian Todd H. Weir argues in this provocative book, early secularism was not the opposite of religion. It developed in the rationalist dissent of Free Religion and, even as secularism took more atheistic forms in Freethought and Monism, it was subject to the forces of the confessional system it sought to dismantle. Similar to its religious competitors, it elaborated a clear worldview, sustained social milieus, and was integrated into the political system. Secularism was, in many ways, Germany's fourth confession. While challenging assumptions about the causes and course of the Kulturkampf and modern antisemitism, this study casts new light on the history of popular science, radical politics, and social reform.
Faithful to Secularism
Author: David T. Buckley
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231542445
Pages: 288
Year: 2017-03-14
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Religion and democracy can make tense bedfellows. Secular elites may view religious movements as conflict-prone and incapable of compromise, while religious actors may fear that anticlericalism will drive religion from public life. Yet such tensions are not inevitable: from Asia to Latin America, religious actors coexist with, and even help to preserve, democracy. In Faithful to Secularism, David T. Buckley argues that political institutions that encourage an active role for public religion are a key part in explaining this variation. He develops the concept of "benevolent secularism" to describe institutions that combine a basic division of religion and state with extensive room for participation of religious actors in public life. He traces the impact of benevolent secularism on religious and secular elites, both at critical junctures in state formation and as politics evolves over time. Buckley shows how religious and secular actors build credibility and shared norms over time, and explains how such coalitions can endure challenges from both religious revivals and periods of anticlericalism. Faithful to Secularism tests this institutional theory in Ireland, Senegal, and the Philippines, using a blend of archival, interview, and public opinion data. These case studies illustrate how even countries with an active religious majority can become and remain faithful to secularism.
Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey
Author: Ahmet T. Kuru, Alfred Stepan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231530250
Pages: 240
Year: 2012-02-21
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While Turkey has grown as a world power, promoting the image of a progressive and stable nation, several choices in policy have strained its relationship with the East and the West. Providing historical, social, and religious context for this behavior, the essays in Democracy, Islam, and Secularism in Turkey examine issues relevant to Turkish debates and global concerns, from the state's position on religion to its involvement with the European Union. Written by experts in a range of disciplines, the chapters explore the toleration of diversity during the Ottoman Empire's classical period; the erosion of ethno-religious heterogeneity in modern, pre-democratic times; Kemalism and its role in modernization and nation building; the changing political strategies of the military; and the effect of possible EU membership on domestic reforms. The essays also offer a cross-Continental comparison of "multiple secularisms," as well as political parties, considering especially Turkey's Justice and Development Party in relation to Europe's Christian Democratic parties. Contributors tackle critical research questions, such as the legacy of the Ottoman Empire's ethno-religious plurality and the way in which Turkey's assertive secularism can be softened to allow greater space for religious actors. They address the military's "guardian" role in Turkey's secularism, the implications of recent constitutional amendments for democratization, and the consequences and benefits of Islamic activism's presence within a democratic system. No other collection confronts Turkey's contemporary evolution so vividly and thoroughly or offers such expert analysis of its crucial social and political systems. Contributors: Karen Barkey (Columbia University) Ümit Cizre (Istanbul Sehir University) M. Sükrü Hanioglu (Princeton University) Stathis N. Kalyvas (Yale University) Ahmet T. Kuru (San Diego State University) Joost Lagendijk (Sabanc University) Ergun Özbudun (Bilkent University) Alfred Stepan (Columbia University)
The Oxford Handbook of Secularism
Author: Phil Zuckerman, John R. Shook
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199988455
Pages: 760
Year: 2017-01-25
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As recent headlines reveal, conflicts and debates around the world more and more frequently involve secularism. National borders and traditional religions can no longer keep people in tidy boxes anymore as political struggles, doctrinal divergences, and demographic trends sweep across regionsand entire continents. Secularity is increasing in society, with a growing number of people in many regions having no religious affiliation or lacking interest in religion. Simultaneously, there is a resurgence of religious participation in the politics of many countries. How might these diversephenomena be interrelated, and better understood? The Oxford Handbook of Secularism offers a wide-ranging examination of secularism on a global scale, bringing together an international collection of views from prominent experts in a variety of fields. This volume reflects the impressive level of academic attention now given to secularism acrossthe humanities, social sciences, law and public policy, and international relations. Long-reigning theories about the pace of secularization, and ideal church-state relations, are here scrutinized by a new generation of scholars studying secularism with new questions, better data, and freshperspectives.This is the essential volume for comprehending the core issues and methodological approaches to the demographics and sociology of secularity; the history and variety of political secularisms; the comparison of constitutional secularisms across countries spanning from America to Asia; the keyproblems now convulsing church-state relations; the intersections of liberalism, multiculturalism, and religion; the latest psychological research into secular lives and lifestyles; and the naturalistic and humanistic worldviews available to nonreligious people. The Oxford Handbook of Secularismaddresses a wide breadth of interrelated issues and problems from multi-disciplinary stances, covering scholarly territory not addressed previously.