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Modern Myths, Locked MindsSecularism and Fundamentalism in India$
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T.N.M Madan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198065104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.001.0001

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Introduction: Scope, Concepts, Method

Introduction: Scope, Concepts, Method

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: Scope, Concepts, Method
Modern Myths, Locked Minds

T. N. Madan

Oxford University Press

This book discusses the ideologies of secularism and fundamentalism in the setting of the religious traditions of India. The setting is not extraneous: the specific meanings of secularism and fundamentalism that seem most appropriate derive their appositeness from these very traditions or, more precisely, from the dialectic of the cumulative traditions and a particular historical situation. This is not less true of secularism—the antinomy of the sacred and the secular notwithstanding—than it is of fundamentalism. Cultural specificities remain opaque, but general concepts are applied to interpret them. The procedure implies some measure of controlled comparison and generalization. This is a book of cultural sociology rather than social theory or the history of particular religious traditions. It explores the ideology of religious tradition, secularization, secularism, Christian tradition, Enlightenment, social science perspectives on secularization and secularism, fundamentalism, and religious pluralism.

Keywords:   India, secularism, fundamentalism, religious traditions, religious pluralism, secularization, social science perspectives, Enlightenment, ideology

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