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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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Time, World, and Secularism

Time, World, and Secularism

(p.335) Chapter Thirteen Time, World, and Secularism
The Post-Secular in Question

Craig Calhoun

NYU Press

This chapter argues that we need to see secularism as a presence, something we need to think through, rather than merely the absence of religion. Secularism, it contends, is informed by a long history of engagements with the temporal world and purposes that imply no transcendence of immanent conditions, and that this history can shed light on contemporary discussions of religion and public life. The chapter explores the ways in which religious people engage this-worldly, temporal life; how religion is established as a category not so much from within as from “secular” perspectives such as that of the state; and the ways in which there may be a secular orientation to the sacred or transcendent. It also examines the extent to which discussions of the secular, secularism, and secularization start with either the Peace of Westphalia or the Enlightenment. Finally, it considers the connection between eternity and temporality as it relates to the idea of secular transcendence.

Keywords:   secularism, religion, temporal world, temporal life, secularization, Peace of Westphalia, Enlightenment, eternity, temporality, secular transcendence

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