Secularisation, Religion, and Multicultural Citizenship

Author: José Casanova

January 1, 2014

In "Secularisation, Religion, and Multicultural Citizenship" Jose Casanova explores contemporary debates about those topics by adopting a global comparative perspective to better understand the European situation in particular. He describes how ideas of "the secular" and "the religious" have developed from their origins in Western Christian theology, leading up to the contrasting secularization models adopted by the United States and most of Western Europe. According to Casanova, European secularization can be best understood as a process of successive de-confessionalizations of states, nations, and peoples, which has been phenomenologically experienced as a process of liberation from confessional identities. Casanova concludes by arguing that being reflexively aware of secular prejudices seems to be a necessary condition for any viable conception of multicultural citizenship in the modern world. People need to avoid false dichotomies built into binary categories, such as either religious or secular, either traditional or modern. This chapter was published as part of Religions and Dialogue: International Approaches (2014, edited by Wolfram Weisse, Katajun Amirpur, Anna Koers, and Doerthe Vieregge).

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