By Erin K. Wilson (auth.)
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Extra info for After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics
Understandings, definitions and terms of reference for secularization, secularism and the secular are debatable (Casanova 2009; Hurd 2008; Taylor 2009). The contested nature of secularization has significant ramifications for how religion’s relationship with politics in the West is conceptualized and how religion itself is understood. Many theorists, both who support and oppose the secularization thesis, draw on statistics regarding church attendance and personal belief statements to argue for or against a trend of secularization (Bruce 2002; Dark 2000; Stark 1999).
It also suggests that a lack of engagement with the historical internal theological and philosophical debates of different religious traditions and their influence on contemporary contexts may to some extent affect dominant understandings of the relationship between religion, politics and the secular in International Relations. Further, what is considered ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ or ‘worldly’ often differs from religion to religion, denomination to denomination and congregation to congregation.
Yet Voyé describes this shift as an attempt by religious institutions to maintain their relevance in a society that is moving inexorably forward towards greater secularization. While the apparent dominance of secularism may have some influence on shifts in what are seemingly the most important beliefs for religious communities, it is equally possible (and indeed acknowledged by theologians and church/religious historians (see, for example, Erickson 1998: 68–70)) that some theological/religious philosophical doctrines enjoy predominance and popularity at different times throughout the history of a religion for reasons that are both external and internal.
After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics by Erin K. Wilson (auth.)