Chapter

Introduction: Scope, Concepts, Method

T. N. Madan

in Modern Myths, Locked Minds

Second edition

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198065104
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080182 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.003.0001
Introduction: Scope, Concepts, Method

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This book discusses the ideologies of secularism and fundamentalism in the setting of the religious traditions of India. The setting is not extraneous: the specific meanings of secularism and fundamentalism that seem most appropriate derive their appositeness from these very traditions or, more precisely, from the dialectic of the cumulative traditions and a particular historical situation. This is not less true of secularism—the antinomy of the sacred and the secular notwithstanding—than it is of fundamentalism. Cultural specificities remain opaque, but general concepts are applied to interpret them. The procedure implies some measure of controlled comparison and generalization. This is a book of cultural sociology rather than social theory or the history of particular religious traditions. It explores the ideology of religious tradition, secularization, secularism, Christian tradition, Enlightenment, social science perspectives on secularization and secularism, fundamentalism, and religious pluralism.

Keywords: India; secularism; fundamentalism; religious traditions; religious pluralism; secularization; social science perspectives; Enlightenment; ideology

Chapter.  15452 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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