Secularism and Religious Traditions
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 December 2022) | Viewed by 30431
Interests: international cultural relations; religion in international relations; conflict resolution and peace building; civil society; social movements; the evolution of modern diplomacy
When the founders of modern social sciences, such as Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, theorized about the relationship between religion and social change, they foresaw secularization becoming one of the effects of the modernization process. A combination of numerous phenomena such as industrialization, urbanization, a scientific world view, rationalism, individualism, pluralism, and finally, secularism cumulating in the Western world are perceived as the core of modernization, characterizing the West and, in a sense, “reserved” only for some societies but not for others. Yet, upon reflection, the idea developed that the Western monopoly on modernization and the consequences of this offered an exclusive and limiting perspective. In the contemporary world, in fact, one encounters multiple modernities. Understanding this world and how it transforms multiple perspectives is thus necessary.
The cognitive and epistemological need to “reach beyond” the West is nothing new in the area of social science. Yet, we still face the problem of the “subconscious”, Western-oriented comprehension and analysis of social reality, which is clearly visible when the Western perspective on religion and its role in modern societies is applied. The essence of this limited approach was embodied not only in the secularization theory that dominated the area of social science for decades. It also revealed itself in secularism, indicating the dichotomic separation between the “private” and “public”, as well as the “communal” and the “individual”. An attempt to counter the dominating perspective of this “secular bias” in world politics and Western political science has been advocated over the last two decades by scholars who propose a revised, dialogue-oriented perspective of the “postsecular”, which aims to bridge secular and religious ideas for the benefit of those who are both religious and atheist.
In every religion that we propose to define as humanity’s relationship with the supernatural, the transcendent or the otherworldly, more inclusive, positive approaches, as well as more exclusive, critical approaches, toward contemporary social changes are present. Some of them do encourage a dialogue with the world, while others do not. Some approaches tend to become truly globalized religions (“global Christianity”, “global Islam”) and some do not have such ambitions, limiting themselves to national social–political influences (Hinduism in India, Judaism in Israel, Orthodoxy in Russia). What brings them all together is that social–political developments, both locally and globally, can rarely be understood without referring to relatively visible or direct religious determinants.
With this Special Issue, we hope to widen the scope of the ongoing discussion on the problem of secularism in different religious traditions. We invite scholars dealing with this religious topic within numerous disciplines of social science, especially focusing on mutual relations between religion and politics, both in the domestic and international dimensions.
Taking into consideration the richness of ideas and aims represented by different religious traditions and actors, among the numerous possible questions and approaches we propose the following:
* How do particular religious traditions behave in the face of modernity? Is their reaction to cut themselves off from the world or to catch up with the changes that are taking place? Do both of these processes occur simultaneously?
*How are the functions of different evolving religions influenced by modernity and postmodernity?
*How do these changes affect the identity of individuals and groups?
*To what extent can we use and how should we define “secularism” in non-Western religious traditions?
*Is the term “postsecularism” applicable in non-Western contexts?
*How can religion be researched considering its multidimensional presence and influence it on a local and global scale?
- Full manuscript deadline: 5 December 2022
Dr. Joanna Kulska
Dr. Anna M. Solarz
Manuscript Submission Information
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- post secularism
- modernity and postmodernity
- politics and religion