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The NonreligiousUnderstanding Secular People and Societies$
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Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, and Frank L. Pasquale

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924950.001.0001

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Secularity and Society

Secularity and Society

(p.74) 4 Secularity and Society
The Nonreligious

Phil Zuckerman

Luke W. Galen

Frank L. Pasquale

Oxford University Press

Many societies around the world contain populations that are more secular than ever before. While we acknowledge various methodological and conceptual challenges in discerning how to measure rates of religiosity or secularity in different societies around the world, the fact remains that certain societies are characterized not only by a separation of church and state but also by low levels of religious identification, participation, and belief. How are such highly secularized societies faring? Despite the contentions of some that religion is a necessary ingredient for a stable, healthy society, we find that highly secularized societies are not destitute or chaotic but actually quite prosperous and peaceful.

Keywords:   secular societies, societal well-being, successful societies, secularism, secular dictatorships, organic versus coercive secularization

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