Religion in the Secular State

Donnerstag, 12.03.2020

Long deemed to be privatized or marginalized in secularizing societies, religion has returned to the center of politics, both domestic and international, if it ever was out. With a comparative focus on Christianity and Islam in Western Europe and North America, this course looks at religion as foundational, society- and civilization-making force and as contemporary political actor or movement seeking to shape and influence law and public policy in its favor. In the first part, we review the two classical sociologies of religion, by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, which have laid out different approaches and schools for studying religion in society; and we scrutinize the concepts of secularization and secularism, which are central to the entire social science of religion. The message will be that secularism is of provincially Christian origins, but that, once generated, it is a universal prerequisite of democratic societies. We close this foundational part with a discussion of the varieties of secularism, comparing and contrasting religion-state regimes in Europe, America, and beyond. The second part starts with a pairing of the two main contemporary challengers to the secular state on both sides of the Atlantic, which are the Christian Right in America and politicized Islam in Europe. `Islam` is then used as template for a number of critical issues as liberal-secular states meet the fact of religion: religious symbols in the public sphere; the role of multiculturalism and its alleged `retreat`; the pivotal importance of liberal law and of the legal system in accommodating minority religions; and the thinning of public morality and of shared values

Dozierende(r): Prof. Dr. Christian Georg Joppke
12.03.2020:08:30 - 10:00
Ort: 2. Etage, Seminarraum B202
Institutsgebäude vonRoll
Fabrikstrasse 8

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