The Politics of Secularism

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

in Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827978
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933020 | DOI:
The Politics of Secularism

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This chapter describes two influential trajectories of secularism and explains why they are important to contemporary world politics: laicism, from the French laïcité, which distils a particular understanding of religion and bans it from politics, and “Judeo-Christian” secularism, which defines religion as a source of unity and identity within societies and civilizations and conflict between them. It draws attention to how secularism is constituted differently in different times and places, the contestation and challenges that surround and inhabit the various forms of secularism, and the lives that they take on in the world as they shape both analytic perspectives in social science and practical projects in politics and international affairs.

Keywords: religion; world politics; laicism; Judeo-Christian secularism; international affairs

Chapter.  8191 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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