Making sense of the postsecular: theological explorations of a critical concept

International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):91-99 (2015)
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Abstract

Current debates on ‘the postsecular’ focus on the alleged new visibility of religion in the public sphere. They overcome earlier neglect or indifference toward religion by acknowledging its importance and cast doubt on traditional binaries between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’. How should systematic theology take up the challenge of these debates? Is ‘the postsecular’ a chance to reconsider religion beyond modernist critiques or should one be critical of too easy celebrations of ‘the return of religion’? As an introduction to a special issue on this theme, this article argues that theology should take it as a chance for new dialogues with unexpected allies, opponents, and critics. This calls for an attitude of openness and a willingness to think anew, without losing one’s roots in a specific orientation. Theology’s contribution can be rethinking core notions from the theory of religions, asking for the specific perspective that religion may introduce and the constructive reinterpretation of – partly forgotten – symbols of religions. After discussing the state of the art in debates on ‘the postsecular’ in the first article, the other contributions of this special issue take up these theological tasks in dialogue with thinkers like Richard Kearney, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Paul Ricoeur.

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Citations of this work

Evil and religion: Ricoeurian impulses for theology in a postsecular climate.Petruschka Schaafsma - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):129-148.

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References found in this work

In pursuit of the postsecular.Arie L. Molendijk - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):100-115.
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.

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