By Erin K. Wilson (auth.)
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Additional info for After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics
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. The work of Lilliane Voyé provides an example of how religion’s influence is often downplayed or overlooked by many sociologists and secularization theorists, which in turn has influenced approaches within International Relations.
These wellestablished divisions are maintained in part, I suggest, by the four moves of secularism that seek to establish a permanent binary opposition between the religious and the secular. In outlining these four moves, I engage with the works of such luminaries as Martin Luther, John Locke and Immanuel Kant, all of whom have consciously or unconsciously contributed to the project of secularism and the subordination of religion. Taylor (2009: 1149) has previously outlined three of the four moves I discuss here – the first being the distinction of church and state, which, I suggest, is part of establishing the possibility and necessity for separating religion and politics.
Not only does the book advocate the transcendence of dualism in relation to religion, it also provides an example of the insights to be gained by breaking down the barriers between different subject areas within academic enquiry. As such, the book shows that the history of ideas is intimately connected to understandings of power, identity and state action in modern world politics. It also demonstrates that civilizational identity and religion, rather than being abstract or irrelevant concepts, are central to a comprehensive understanding of global politics in the twenty-first century.