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The Post-Secular in QuestionReligion in Contemporary Society$
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Philip Gorski, David Kyuman Kim, John Torpey, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814738726

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814738726.001.0001

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Jürgen Habermas and the Post-Secular Appropriation of Religion

Jürgen Habermas and the Post-Secular Appropriation of Religion

A Sociological Critique

(p.249) Chapter Ten Jürgen Habermas and the Post-Secular Appropriation of Religion
The Post-Secular in Question

Michele Dillon

NYU Press

This chapter explores the intellectual significance of Jürgen Habermas's gesture toward religion and offers a sociological critique of his view of religion as well as its implications for post-secular society. It first considers Habermas's theory of communicative action before discussing his post-secular–religious turn as it relates to the contested nature of religious ideas. It argues that his religious turn marginalizes the centrality of spirituality, emotion, and tradition to religion, and fails to recognize the link between religion and the secular. It then notes Habermas's inattentiveness to how religion manifests and matters in everyday life, an indication that he doesn't take religion seriously. It suggests that Habermas's post-secular–religious turn is a reflection of the lingering persistence of his highly cognitive and rational approach to social life and undermines the conceptual promise of a post-secular society for which religion may offer a means of emancipation. The chapter concludes by commenting on Habermas's use of the terms “secular citizens” and “religious citizens.”

Keywords:   religion, Jürgen Habermas, post-secular society, theory of communicative action, religious turn, spirituality, secular, social life, secular citizens, religious citizens

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