Contesting Secularism

Author: Anders Berg-Sørensen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317160231
Format: PDF, Docs
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As we enter the twenty-first century, the role of religion within civic society has become an issue of central concern across the world. The complex trends of secularism, multiculturalism and the rise of religiously motivated violence raise fundamental questions about the relationship between political institutions, civic culture and religious groups. Contesting Secularism represents a major intervention into this debate. Drawing together contributions from leading scholars from across the world it analyses how secularism functions as a political doctrine in different national contexts put under pressure by globalisation. In doing so it presents different models for the relationship between political institutions and religious groups, challenging the reader to be more aware of assumptions within their own cultural context, and raises alternative possibilities for the structure of democratic, multi-faith societies. Through its inter-disciplinary and comparative approach, Contesting Secularism sets a new agenda for thinking about the place of religion in the public sphere of twenty-first century societies. It is essential reading for policymakers, as well as for scholars and students in political science, law, sociology and religious studies.

Contesting Nationalisms

Author: Vikas Pathak
Publisher: Primus Books
ISBN: 9789386552792
Format: PDF
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Indian nationalism has been a contested space over the last century. Claims and counter-claims have been advanced regarding its nature for long now. This book argues that there are multiple visions of Indian nationalism, each seeking hegemony over national discourse, and that divergences regarding the cultural-ideological contours of the idea of India are central to the contest over what Indian nationalism means. Contesting Nationalisms identifies four strands: composite culture nationalism; religious nationalism; a secular, citizen-centric nationalism, and a vision of 'Dalit nationalism' seeking to reorder the public sphere in its own fashion. It traces these visions, which emerged in colonial India, through an exploration of the ideas of key ideologues in colonial Punjab. The analysis also has implications for our understanding of communalism, which has been seen as intertwined with nationalism in India for more than a century now.

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

Author: Phil Zuckerman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199988455
Format: PDF, ePub
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As recent headlines reveal, conflicts and debates around the world more and more frequently involve secularism. National borders and traditional religions can no longer keep people in tidy boxes anymore as political struggles, doctrinal divergences, and demographic trends sweep across regionsand entire continents. Secularity is increasing in society, with a growing number of people in many regions having no religious affiliation or lacking interest in religion. Simultaneously, there is a resurgence of religious participation in the politics of many countries. How might these diversephenomena be interrelated, and better understood? The Oxford Handbook of Secularism offers a wide-ranging examination of secularism on a global scale, bringing together an international collection of views from prominent experts in a variety of fields. This volume reflects the impressive level of academic attention now given to secularism acrossthe humanities, social sciences, law and public policy, and international relations. Long-reigning theories about the pace of secularization, and ideal church-state relations, are here scrutinized by a new generation of scholars studying secularism with new questions, better data, and freshperspectives.This is the essential volume for comprehending the core issues and methodological approaches to the demographics and sociology of secularity; the history and variety of political secularisms; the comparison of constitutional secularisms across countries spanning from America to Asia; the keyproblems now convulsing church-state relations; the intersections of liberalism, multiculturalism, and religion; the latest psychological research into secular lives and lifestyles; and the naturalistic and humanistic worldviews available to nonreligious people. The Oxford Handbook of Secularismaddresses a wide breadth of interrelated issues and problems from multi-disciplinary stances, covering scholarly territory not addressed previously.

Orhan Pamuk Secularism and Blasphemy

Author: Erdag Göknar
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136164286
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Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy is the first critical study of all of Pamuk’s novels, including the early untranslated work. In 2005 Orhan Pamuk was charged with "insulting Turkishness" under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code. Eighteen months later he was awarded the Nobel Prize. After decades of criticism for wielding a depoliticized pen, Pamuk was cast as a dissident through his trial, an event that underscored his transformation from national literateur to global author. By contextualizing Pamuk’s fiction into the Turkish tradition and by defining the literary and political intersections of his work, Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy rereads Pamuk's dissidence as a factor of the form of his novels. This is not a traditional study of literature, but a book that turns to literature to ask larger questions about recent transformations in Turkish history, identity, modernity, and collective memory. As a corrective to common misreadings of Pamuk’s work in its international reception, Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy applies various analytical lenses to the politics of the Turkish novel, including gender studies, cultural translation, historiography, and Islam. The book argues that modern literature that confronts representations of the nation-state, or devlet, with those of Ottoman, Islamic, and Sufi contexts, or din, constitute "secular blasphemies" that redefine the politics of the Turkish novel. Concluding with a meditation on conditions of "untranslatability" in Turkish literature, this study provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of Pamuk’s novels to date.

Secularism Decolonisation and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia

Author: Clemens Six
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351684795
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The intensifying conflicts between religious communities in contemporary South and Southeast Asia signify the importance of gaining a clearer understanding of how societies have historically organised and mastered their religious diversity. Based on extensive archival research in Asia, Europe, and the United States, this book suggests a new approach to interpreting and explaining secularism not as a Western concept but as a distinct form of practice in 20th-century global history. In six case studies on the contemporary history of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, it analyses secularism as a project to create a high degree of distance between the state and religion during the era of decolonisation and the emerging Cold War between 1945 and 1970. To demonstrate the interplay between local and transnational dynamics, the case studies look at patterns of urban planning, the struggle against religious nationalism, conflicts around religious education, and (anti-)communism as a dispute over secularism and social reform. The book emphasises in particular the role of non-state actors as key supporters of secular statehood – a role that has thus far not received sufficient attention. A novel approach to studying secularism in Asia, the book discusses the different ways that global transformations such as decolonisation and the Cold War interacted with local relations to reshape and relocate religion in society. It will be of interest to scholars of Religious Studies, International Relations and Politics, Studies of Empire, Cold War Studies, Subaltern Studies, Modern Asian History, and South and Southeast Asian Studies.

Islam and the Politics of Secularism

Author: Nurullah Ardiç
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415671663
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This book examines the process of secularization in the Middle East in the late 19th and early 20th century through an analysis of the transformation and abolition of Islamic Caliphate. Focusing on debates in both the center of the Caliphate and its periphery, the author argues that the relationship between Islam and secularism was one of accommodation, rather than simply conflict and confrontation, because Islam was the single most important source of legitimation in the modernization of the Middle East. Through detailed analysis of both official documents and the writings of the intellectuals who contributed to reforms in the Empire, the author first examines the general secularization process in the Ottoman Empire from the late 18th century up to the end of the 1920s. He then presents an in-depth analysis of a crucial case of secularization: the demise of Islamic Caliphate. Drawing upon a wide range of secondary and primary sources on the Caliphate and the wider process of political modernization, he employs discourse analysis and comparative-historical methods to examine how the Caliphate was first transformed into a "spiritual" institution and then abolished in 1924 by Turkish secularists. Ardç also demonstrates how the book’s argument is applicable to wider secularization and modernization processes in the Middle East. Deriving insights from history, anthropology, Islamic law and political science, the book will engage a critical mass of scholars interested in Middle Eastern studies, political Islam, secularization and the near-global revival of religion as well as the historians of Islam and late-Ottoman Empire, and those working in the field of historical sociology and the sociology of religion as a case study.

Hallowed Secularism

Author: B. Ledewitz
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230619525
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Bruce Ledewitz proposes a Reformation in secular thinking. He shows that in opposition to today's aggressive Atheism, religious sources are necessary if secularism is to promote fulfilling human relationships and peaceful international relations. Amid signs that secularism is growing in unhealthy ways, Ledewitz proposes a new secular way to live.

Secularism and Identity

Author: Reza Gholami
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317058267
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Within western political, media and academic discourses, Muslim communities are predominantly seen through the prism of their Islamic religiosities, yet there exist within diasporic communities unique and complex secularisms. Drawing on detailed interview and ethnographic material gathered in the UK, this book examines the ways in which a form of secularism - ’non-Islamiosity’ - amongst members of the Iranian diaspora shapes ideas and practices of diasporic community and identity, as well as wider social relations. In addition to developing a novel theoretical paradigm to make sense of the manner in which diasporic communities construct and live diasporic identity and consciousness in a way that marginalises, stigmatises or eradicates only ’Islam’, Secularism and Identity shows how this approach is used to overcome religiously inculcated ideas and fashion a desirable self, thus creating a new space in which to live and thereby attaining ’freedom’. Calling into question notions of anti-Islamism and Islamophobia, whilst examining secularism as a means or mechanism rather than an end, this volume offers a new understanding of religion as a marker of migrant identity. As such it will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology and political science with interests in migration and ethnicity, diasporic communities, the sociology of religion and emerging forms of secularism.

Beheading the Saint

Author: Geneviève Zubrzycki
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022639168X
Format: PDF, ePub
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The province of Quebec used to be called the priest-ridden province by its Protestant neighbors in Canada. During the 1960s, Quebec became radically secular, directly leading to its evolution as a welfare state with lay social services. What happened to cause this abrupt change? Genevieve Zubrzycki gives us an elegant and penetrating history, showing that a key incident sets up the transformation. Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of French Canadians, and, until 1969, was subject of annual celebrations with a parade in Montreal. That year, the statue of St. John was toppled by protestors, breaking off the head from the body. Here, then is the proximate cause: the beheading of a saint, a symbolic death to be sure, which caused the parades to disappear and other modes of national celebration to take their place. The beheading of the saint was part and parcel of the so-called Quiet Revolution, a period of far-reaching social, economic, political, and cultural transformations. Quebec society and the identity of its French-speaking members drastically reinvented themselves with the rejection of Catholicism. Zubrzycki is already acknowledged as a leading authority on nationalism and religion; this book will significantly enlarge her stature by showing the extent to which a core feature of the Quiet Revolution was an aesthetic revolt. A new generation rejected the symbols of French Canada, redefining national identity in the process (and as a process) and providing momentum for institutional reforms. We learn that symbols have causal force, generating chains of significations which can transform a Catholic-dominated conservative society into a leftist, forward-looking, secular society."