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Rethinking Religion and World Affairs$
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Timothy Samuel Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Duffy Toft

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827978.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

The Politics of Secularism

The Politics of Secularism

(p.36) 3 } The Politics of Secularism
Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes two influential trajectories of secularism and explains why they are important to contemporary world politics: laicism, from the French laïcité, which distils a particular understanding of religion and bans it from politics, and “Judeo-Christian” secularism, which defines religion as a source of unity and identity within societies and civilizations and conflict between them. It draws attention to how secularism is constituted differently in different times and places, the contestation and challenges that surround and inhabit the various forms of secularism, and the lives that they take on in the world as they shape both analytic perspectives in social science and practical projects in politics and international affairs.

Keywords:   religion, world politics, laicism, Judeo-Christian secularism, international affairs

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