By Erin K. Wilson (auth.)
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Extra resources for After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics
This includes the United States of America, which has been seen as something of an anomaly among the general trend of increasing secularization in the West (Berger 1997: 32). Yet, other authors suggested that perhaps the USA was not so much of an anomaly that secularization was not the inevitable force it had so long been presumed to be (Bruce 1992) and that Europe was not quite as secular as some authors considered it to be. These disagreements seemed to stem from different conceptions of exactly what secularization was.
Laïcité or assertive secularism actively advocates the total exclusion of religion from the public realm. ‘[T]he state excludes religion from the public sphere and plays an “assertive” role as the agent of a social engineering project that confines religion to the private domain’ (Kuru 2007: 571). Judeo-Christian or passive secularism ‘does not attempt to expel religion, or at least Judeo-Christianity, from public life’ (Hurd 2008: 5–6), but rather ‘requires that the secular state play a “passive” role Subordinating Religion 31 in avoiding the establishment of any religions, allow[ing] for the public visibility of religion’ (Kuru 2007: 571).
Europe’s secular nature is emphasized over its Christian connections and the dominant narrative told about Europe’s historical development is the Subordinating Religion 39 successful separation of religion from politics and law to establish communities of peace and tolerance (Willaime 2009: 24). This highlights the ongoing influence of dominant modes of secularism and secularization theory in International Relations. It also emphasizes the dualistic thinking that underpins secularism, with society separated into public and private realms and Europe only able to be ‘secular’, its Christian heritage confined to the past, with little recognition of any ongoing influence from religion on political identity, values or practices.