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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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Things in Their Entanglements

Things in Their Entanglements

(p.43) Chapter Three Things in Their Entanglements
The Post-Secular in Question

Courtney Bender

NYU Press

This chapter examines the historical, scholarly, and empirical entanglements that shape discussions about religions, the secular, and the post-secular within the social sciences and humanities. It considers why religion reemerged as an interesting problematic for the social sciences and how sociology might contribute to these renewed discussions. Using a series of fragments from recent research, the chapter argues for a modest and entirely non-novel direction for future research, wherein sociologists studying religion pay attention to the ways that choices about field sites simplify and answer questions regarding the place of religion in modern life. A first fragment focuses on how “spirituality” and “religion” rarely appear to be entangled in sociological discourse. A second fragment deals with the surprising sociological career of “religious experience.” A third fragment concerns mystical cosmopolitanism within the context of politics. These fragments highlight different, non-commensurate religious entanglements.

Keywords:   religion, secular, post-secular, social sciences, sociology, research, spirituality, religious experience, mystical cosmopolitanism, religious entanglements

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