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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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Secular Liturgies and the Prospects for a “Post-Secular” Sociology of Religion

Secular Liturgies and the Prospects for a “Post-Secular” Sociology of Religion

(p.159) Chapter Seven Secular Liturgies and the Prospects for a “Post-Secular” Sociology of Religion
The Post-Secular in Question

James K. A. Smith

NYU Press

This chapter proposes a methodological shift in both philosophy of religion and sociology of religion that rejects what Charles Taylor terms “intellectualism”: a methodological paradigm that has the theoretical radar to pick up on “secular liturgies” yet remains religious. More specifically, it describes an essentially “liturgical” account of religion, drawing on Taylor, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Pierre Bourdieu. It argues that such an account is “post-secular” in two senses: it rejects the intellectualist anthropology and epistemology that informs “secular” social sciences; and it will be primed to see certain “secular” practices as religious. This methodological paradigm for a “post-secular” sociology is attuned to worship rather than (just) belief and thus can recognize religion in practices and institutions that are generally considered to be “secular.”

Keywords:   philosophy of religion, sociology of religion, Charles Taylor, secular liturgies, religion, post-secular, social sciences, secular, post-secular sociology, worship

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