Religions, Secularizations, and Modernities

Author: José Casanova

December 1, 2011

In the 2011 article "Religions, Secularizations, and Modernities," José Casanova reviews two sociological books on religion and secularism: Religion and Modern Society: Citizenship, Secularisation and the State (2011) by Bryan S. Turner and The Future of Christianity: Reflections on Violence and Democracy, Religion and Secularization (2011) by David Martin. Casanova critiques Religion and Modern Society for using multiple, disjointed definitions of secularism, ranging from de-privatization to removal from the social sphere. Casanova also argues that despite its global mindset, the work fails to properly understand the growth of older religions. Casanova applauds the approach of The Future of Christianity, which looks at the development of secularism through the lens of Christianity, to apply to all religions. Casanova notes that both pieces call for an analysis of "desecularization," looking for a more nuanced view of the phenomenon. This essay was published in the European Journal of Sociology.

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