Does Religious Pluralism Require Secularism?   /   Fall 2010   /    Does Religious Pluralism Require Secularism?


A Bibliographic Essay

Slavica Jakelić

Place de la Laïcité, near Parc André Citroën, Paris, by Guilhem Vellut; Wikimedia Commons.

Secularism has origins in the West but has long ceased to be its property. It is a global phenomenon with an equally global crisis. For theoretical and empirical purposes, therefore, secularism should be thought of in the plural rather than in the singular. Similarly, while secularism has been a source of marginalization and sometimes even a hostile negation of religions, it cannot be reduced to antireligiousness. It is also a moral orientation toward the world and in the world, often guided by a vision of a just society for all or developed as a strategy that should mitigate the challenges of religious pluralism. Secularism may indicate a worldview, an ideology, a political doctrine, a form of political governance, a type of moral philosophy, or a belief that the scientific method is sufficient to understanding the world in which we live.

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