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Mentality, Fundamentality, and the Colonial Secular; or How Real Is Real Estate?

  • Pamela Klassen
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)

Abstract

What is a mentality, and when does it become a fundamentality? Technically speaking, these two words may not be etymologically linked, but their overlap is instructive for those pondering the meanings and effects of the ‘secular’. A language of mentalities and imaginaries infuses writing about both fundamentalism and the secular. While scholars have often characterized a fundamentalist ‘mindset’ as one lacking in self-reflexivity or openness to democratic deliberation, so, too, have they turned to a language of mentality and related concepts — sensibilities, imaginaries, world views — as the dominant frame for explaining what the secular is, and how its power works (Marty, 1994; Derrida and Habermas, 2004; Taylor, 2007). Susan Harding, writing specifically of mid-twentieth-century US ‘secularity’ in its relation to ‘fundamentalism’, described the ‘modern secular imaginary’ as a ‘hegemonic social mentality, a sensibility and code of etiquette’ (Harding, 2009: 1283). Sociologist Jose Casanova offers a more precise definition, distinguishing the secular as a ‘modern, epistemic category’ from secularization as a social and historical process that worked to define and set apart ‘religion’ within civic and political institutions. Secularism, in turn, he described as a world view or ideology that can be both a principle of statecraft and a broader, taken-for-granted, modern doxa (Casanova, 2009).

Keywords

Real Estate Oxford English Dictionary Northwest Coast Land Claim Aboriginal Title 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Pamela Klassen 2014

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  • Pamela Klassen

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