Is There a Crisis of ‘Postsecularism’ in Western Europe?
By secularism or more specifically, political secularism, I mean institutional arrangements such that religious authority and religious reasons for action and political authority and political reasons for action are distinguished; so, political authority does not rest on religious authority and the latter does not dominate political authority. Support for such arrangements can be derived from a religion or a religious authority, and certainly are supported by many religious people.1 On this very broad conception of political secularism, there is no necessary, absolute separation of religion and political rule, let alone that the state should be hostile to religion, though, of course, such radical views are also amongst those recognizable as political secularism. Many different institutional arrangements and many different political views and ideologies, democratic and anti-democratic, liberal and illiberal, pro-religion and anti-religion, are consistent with this minimal conception of secularism: the non-domination of political authority by religious authority. I take subscription to this idea to be central to modernity and therefore one of the dominant ideas of the twentieth century. I do not mean that everybody in modern societies agrees with this view and, of course, like all ideas, it is not perfectly or purely manifested in any actual case, and people will disagree about the specific cases.
KeywordsChurch Attendance Political Authority Religious People Online Source Religious Authority
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