Exploring the Postsecular: Three Meanings of "The Secular" and Their Possible Transcendence

Author: José Casanova

January 1, 2013

In “Exploring the Secular: Three Meanings of ‘the Secular’ and Their Possible Transcendence” José Casanova constructs a typology of the different ways secularization has been understood, and how these various senses correlate to different models of secularization in the modern world. He engages with the works of Jürgen Habermas and argues that Habermas’s conception of secularization is too closely linked to the European model in which secularization and modernization are correlated. Casanova argues that the world may be becoming “post-secular,” characterized by the re-emergence of religion as a public issue in some societies. He concludes by identifying three main reasons for this new attitude: globalization, European integration, and increasing religious pluralism due to immigration. This chapter was published as part of Habermas and Religion (2013, edited by Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen).

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