Making Sense of the Secular

Critical Perspectives from Europe to Asia

Edited by Ranjan Ghosh

© 2013 – Routledge

226 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415536950
pub: 2012-11-06
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

This book offers a wide range of critical perspectives on how secularism unfolds and has been made sense of across Europe and Asia. The book evaluates secularism as it exists today – its formations and discontents within contemporary discourses of power, terror, religion and cosmopolitanism – and the focus on these two continents gives critical attention to recent political and cultural developments where secularism and multiculturalism have impinged in deeply problematical ways, raising bristling ideological debates within the functioning of modern state bureaucracies.

Examining issues as controversial as the state of Islam in Europe and China’s encounters with religion, secularism, and modernization provides incisive and broader perspectives on how we negotiate secularism within the contemporary threats of terrorism and other forms of fundamentalism and state-politics. However, amidst the discussions of various versions of secularism in different countries and cultural contexts, this book also raises several other issues relevant to the antitheocratic and theocratic alike, such as: Is secularism is merely a nonreligious establishment? Is secularism a kind of cultural war? How is it related to "terror"? The book at once makes sense of secularism across cultural, religious, and national borders and puts several relevant issues on the anvil for further investigations and understanding.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Making Sense of the Secular Ranjan Ghosh Part I: Europe 1. Formations of the Secular State and Islam in Britain Today Naheem Jabbar 2. The Evolution of French Secularism Jean Baubérot 3. How Do You Say ‘Secular’ In Italian? Edoardo Tortorolo 4. Manifest Secularization Processes in Turkey and Belgium Karel Dobbelaere 5. Secularism in Eastern Europe Lavinia Stan and Diane Vancea Part II: Asia 6. The Truth about Secularism Tabish Khair 7. The Dark Hour of Secularism: Hindu Fundamentalism and Colonial Liberalism in India S.N. Balagangadhara & Jakob De Roover 8. Elisions and Erasures: Science, Secularism and the State - The Cases of India and Pakistan Banu Subramanium 9. Sacred Modernism or Secular Space: The Ornamental Politics of Religion in Sri Lanka Tariq Jazeel 10.When Will China Become More Religious? Shaoming Zhao 11. The Secular and the Spiritual in Contemporary Japanese Society John Lie 12. Korea’s Path of Secularization Don Baker 13.Political Secularization in IndonesiaLuthfi Assyaukanie 14. Secularism in Malaysia Christopher A. Furlow Notes on Contributors Notes Index

About the Editor

Ranjan Ghosh teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Bengal, India. He is widely published in leading international journals like Oxford Literary Review, History and Theory, Parallax, Rethinking History, Comparatist, Comparative Drama, South Asia, SubStance, symploke, Angelaki,and others. He is author/editor of several books, including Globalizing Dissent (Routledge, 2008), Edward Said: The Literary, Social and the Political World (Routledge, 2009), A Lover's Quarrel with the Past: Romance, Representation, Reading (2012). His website is:

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Agnosticism
RELIGION / Atheism
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Hinduism / General
RELIGION / Islam / General
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Religion & Science