Journal Article

Post-secular Society: Christianity and the Dialectics of the Secular

Ingolf U. Dalferth

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 78, issue 2, pages 317-345
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Post-secular Society: Christianity and the Dialectics of the Secular

Show Summary Details


A post-secular society is often defined as one with a renewed interest in the spiritual life. This paper argues for the contrary view: post-secular societies are neither religious nor secular, they do not prescribe or privilege a religion, but neither do they actively and intentionally refrain from doing so. They are neither for nor against religion(s) but rather take no stand on this matter because it is irrelevant for their self-understanding and without import for the way in which they define themselves. For them, religion has ceased to be something to which a society or a state has to relate in embracing, rejecting, prescribing, negating, or allowing it. People may or may not be religious, but states and societies are not, and hence there is no need for them to be secular any more.

Journal Article.  9934 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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