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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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The Sikh Religious Tradition: Meanings of Secularism

The Sikh Religious Tradition: Meanings of Secularism

(p.39) Chapter Two The Sikh Religious Tradition: Meanings of Secularism
Modern Myths, Locked Minds

T. N. Madan

Oxford University Press

As a modern theory, the thesis of secularization bears the imprint of the dialectic of religion and reason or, more precisely, Protestantism and the Enlightenment. In its utopian form, it was put forward as the ideology of secularism, denying any legitimacy to religion in society. Of the great religious traditions of humanity, Sikhism is one of the youngest, being barely 500 years old. This chapter examines the significance of the fact that, in the Sikh religious tradition, an original attitude of qualified world affirmation was, in the course of time, redefined to emphasize the unity of the spiritual and political functions in society, so that what might seem distinct and even contradictory in terms of the Western civilization is here sought to be reconciled. It also explores Sikhism as this-worldly ethic, the doctrine of two swords, and the secular state of Ranjit Singh.

Keywords:   Sikhism as doctrine of two swords, secularization, secular state of Ranjit Singh, religious traditions, religion, world affirmation

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