In pursuit of the postsecular

International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):100-115 (2015)
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This article explores the various uses or – according to some authors, such as the sociologist James Beckford – misuses of the term ‘postsecular’. The variations in its use are indeed so broad that the question is justified whether the terminology as such has much analytical value. The prominence of the ‘postsecular’ in present-day debates in my view primarily indicates the inability among scholars, intellectuals and religious interest groups to come to grips with what – for some at least – is an unexpected presence and resurgence of religion in the public domains of presumably secular societies. The work of the cultural anthropologist Talal Asad shows that the secular does not preclude the religious. All kinds of religious arguments, organizations, and agents are very much present in modern ‘secular’ societies. From this perspective, the emergence of the ‘postsecular’ refers to very real phenomena, most importantly the intertwinement of the secular and the religious. For instance, religious actors do not accept the barriers of secular society and claim a role for religion in public and secular arenas. This insight could be one of the most important driving forces behind the popularity of the term ‘postsecular’ in recent years.



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Citations of this work

The postsecular and systematic theology: reflections on Kearney and Nancy.Rick Benjamins - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):116-128.
Evil and religion: Ricoeurian impulses for theology in a postsecular climate.Petruschka Schaafsma - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):129-148.
Making sense of the postsecular: theological explorations of a critical concept.Petruschka Schaafsma - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):91-99.
Agnosticism and eschatological hope: Allard Pierson and hope beyond the moment of not-knowing.Sabine Wolsink - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 84 (2):99-113.

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References found in this work

The Future of Human Nature.Jürgen Habermas - 2003 - Cambridge, UK: Polity. Edited by Jürgen Habermas.

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