The Form and Transformation of Secularism
Vincent Pecora once said, ‘Secularism itself is not just a general term, it represents a negative state of the absence of religious faith — whatever it means; Rather, it is a word that is almost as ambiguous as "religion."
Secularism has been one of the topics of discussion for sociologists and policymakers around the world for decades. Secularism is being discussed in various ways from different perspectives. National and international changes are adding new dimensions and diversity to this ongoing discussion. Both simplistic explanations and in-depth analysis of secularism exist. So it can be claimed that secularism is not a single issue without diversity.
There are different types of it as ideology and state policy and it is a controversial and debatable issue. With this in mind, this article presents a critical discussion of the multifaceted perspectives on the concept of secularism. At the same time, the transformation of the concept of secularism over time, the concept of secularism as the principle of governance, and the relationship between the state and secularism in Western societies have been analyzed.
Four models of the ‘secular state’ have emerged since the nineteenth century in the analysis of secularism as the principle of governance. These are commonly referred to as French, British, American, and Indian models.
There is a debate about the strengths and weaknesses of secularism, its past, and future, as well as its normative and practical aspects from different perspectives. Not only are certain national experiences influencing these debates, but in some cases, the form and dimension of the debates are also being determined by these experiences.
The transformation of the global political landscape, the significant changes in everyday politics in different countries, the beginning of the democratization process in several countries, the growing influence of religion in politics and public (or public sphere), and the demographic changes in many European countries have brought secularism to the forefront. There are more reasons for this.
One of the reasons for this is the new approach to sociology, which is challenging conventional scholarship. We have also seen that in the last few decades, there has been an increase in enthusiasm, discussion, and research on religion in academia, in research institutions; It applies equally to the discussion of secularism.
Simplified comments and discussions on these issues are easily noticed in the media all over the world; There is also a tendency among policymakers in state and politics to favor simplified interpretations. But the hope is that at the same time in-depth analysis is being published and they are also being able to impress in the minds of the people, among the enthusiasts.
Discussions on secularism are not easy, they are full of problems. Just as it is difficult to keep this discussion away from emotional and controversial discourse, it is difficult to reconcile the two existing perspectives. By the two existing perspectives, I mean the tendency to look at secularism as a universal doctrine and to overemphasize the context and specific country-time, ignoring its larger aspect as a concept. Neither of these two perspectives can single-handedly consider the subject, nor can it present the matter prudently.
With these things in mind, I set a specific and limited goal for myself; That is to present a critical discussion of the multifaceted perspectives on the concept of secularism. We need to start discussing that secularism is a controversial and debatable issue. In particular, we must acknowledge that 'secularism is a historically variable subject, with a diverse history of its origin'. What will happen can also be discussed and re-discussed. For this, everyone has to overcome one issue, which Jürgen Habermas describes as ‘narrow secular consciousness’.
Secularism and what does it mean?
The most common notion of secularism is that it provides an ideological framework for what the relationship between state and religion should be. This conventional notion means that secularism will create institutions that will implement consensus on religion and politics and maintain the separation of religion and state.
Within this ideological framework, it is assumed that ‘religion should be excluded from political life because of secular reasoning’; ‘The state should not be active based on religious reasoning or in the pursuit of religious motives’ and ‘religiously motivated individuals and groups should not participate in politics until they abandon their religious convictions and become ready to rely on secular considerations.
A Secularism One of the oldest definitions is found in George Jacob Holyoke; He is described as the father of the word. In 1851, Holyoke defined secularism in his book The Principles of Secularism:
Secularism is the knowledge to increase human welfare in a materialistic way, to measure human welfare in a utilitarian way, and to make serving others a duty of life. Secularism is associated with the present existence of man, all things and works which can be verified by life experience. It aims to provide the highest possible development of the physical, moral and intellectual capacity of the people as the main duty of the society; To keep in mind the practical adequacy of natural morality outside of theism, atheism, or Christianity.
The definition has changed since then, But this does not mean that there is no longer any ambiguity in its definition. Despite the widespread use of the term, Charles Taylor concludes that "what is meant by secularism is [yet] not entirely clear." Since secularism is taught in three different disciplines: philosophy, sociology, and political science, three different interpretations are commonly associated with this concept.
Philosophically, this is seen as an adoption of existentialism and empiricism, rejecting mysticism and metaphysics. Sociologically, this concept suggests a reduction in the influence of religion on public life and social institutions. Politically, it is seen as the separation of the private and public spheres, which indicates the separation of religion and state. These are the most common interpretations of the concept of secularism. These interpretations cannot be said to be isolated from one another, but rather to introduce secularism as a political doctrine.
Any political doctrine is created when there are imperfections, inconsistencies, or errors in the existing system or concept. Secularism is no exception. Religion is considered to be the inadequacy of the idea of secularism. It must also be remembered that no political doctrine is free from the power relations of society.
The discourse of secularism has taken its present form through the unequal exchange of different kinds of power, namely political, intellectual, cultural, and moral power. Its broader nature emerges in the legal interpretation of secularism given by the Turkish Constitutional Court. In a January 1997 ruling, the court noted that secularism refers to the "separation of religion from social life, education, family, economy, law, behavior, dress code, etc."
From this point of view, the doctrine is comprehensive and under it, all social, political, and moral behaviors have to be considered. Saba Mahmoud makes an almost similar explanation when he says, "Secular liberalism cannot be identified as a doctrine of the state in general or as a set of judicial practices: given its broader significance, it must be understood as a way of life."
This definition of secularism has blurred the gap between secularism and secularization. But this difference is mentioned in most of the scholarly commentaries. Secularism emphasizes the separation of state and religion as a doctrine or principle, while secularization refers to a process that creates a distinction between the individual and the public and limits religion to the individual. Secularization also points to the continued decline of the influence of religion in society.
Peter Berger, in defining secularization, said that it "shrinks the role of religion in both social life and personal consciousness". Nineteenth-century sociologists such as August Conte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx all discussed the role of religion from different perspectives, concluding that religion would lose its importance and influence in society over time. The basis for this argument was the idea that ‘modernization’ would gradually drive religion out of the public domain.
According to Jose Casanova, secularization refers to three processes. The processes are 1. ‘Decline of religious beliefs and practices in modern societies’; 2. ‘Personalization of religion’; And 3. ‘Separation of secular spheres (state, economy, science)’ .10 Proponents of secularism 11 cite research data as evidence for their argument, which shows that the number of participants in religious institutions is declining in Western countries and many are accepting religion as a purely personal belief.
But in the late twentieth century, the rise of religious movements and religious-political forces in various parts of the world raised the first two questions. Those who proclaimed God's death re-evaluated their position.12 Proponents of secularism, such as Peter Berger admit the mistake.
In 1996, he declared, "The idea that we live in a secular world is false." However, we must acknowledge that the importance of the third element, the separation of secular spheres, is beyond the scope of secularism, as it is a hallmark of the liberal capitalist nation. ) Has become; The idea of separating ‘society’ and ‘state’ or creating a gap between the individual and the public is now considered acceptable, thus proving that segregation has taken place.
Two questions are relevant here: How has the idea of secularization been made universal? What is the relationship between secularism and secularization? Making the idea of secularization universal is associated with the theory of modernization. In the post-World War II period, modernization theory emphasizes that ‘developing’ or ‘non-Western’ societies are forced to follow the path of progress following Western states, through which societies will change from traditional societies to ‘modern’ societies; As a result, those societies will improve and a cultural change will take place.
Economic development will replace traditional values, of which religion is an integral part. This will reduce narrowness and religious influence. Secularization has become a universal concept as a result of the indiscriminate adherence to this doctrine and development model. The relationship between secularization and secularism is not discussed in detail in this discussion.
But based on what we all know about European history, it can be said that secularism as a state policy emerged after the European religion-war when both religion and society gradually accepted the differences between themselves. In a real sense, secularism emerged as a political doctrine through the ‘sacred idea’ or ‘sacred’ i.e. the secularization of Christianity.
Outside of the Western world, that is, in non-Western societies, the process is the opposite. There we see that secularism has been adopted as a state policy and a project of the state even before the foundation of secularism was laid. In general, we can identify the four paths of modernity. The first historical path is the Western and Central European path, where modernity was an internal development.
The second route is where European immigrants (settlers) arrived: such as America and Australia, which the West calls the 'New World'. The settlers there became the majority and through the use of force, the opponents of modernity were turned into marginalized people. The third way is the ‘colonial area’, where modernity came from outside.
Although resistance efforts were suppressed, they were not completely eradicated. The fourth path is ‘externally persuaded modernization’, where the elite ruling class imported the idea of modernity of their choice.
Most non-Western societies became acquainted with modernity in the third and fourth ways so that political modernity was not created internally but became an imposed or ingrained concept from the outside. According to TN Madan, secularism, like modernity, was imposed: "The models of modernization suggested the transfer of secularism to non-Western societies, regardless of the religious heritage of non-Western societies or what these traditions might offer as gifts." That is why secularism, as a political doctrine, reaches non-Western societies before even thinking about the process of secularization. It was generally thought that the process of secularization of society would move forward only if secularism was adopted as a state policy.
(By modernity I mean Western modernity here, although I do not think that modernity only has that one meaning. I also have an objection to a tradition or linear history. I am reluctant to accept the history of modernity in Europe as the only modernity and I agree with Talal Assad on this question.)
Transformations of ‘Secularism’
The sense in which we now consider secularism has been created through three distinct transformations. Etymologically the word secularism originates from secularism, which is a unit of time measurement. The Romans used it as a common life cycle for a generation. Gradually it was standardized and it continued to be used for a century.
The first conversion of this meaning took place in the thirteenth century when two different streams appeared in the work of the priests of Christianity. This division occurs between the ‘otherworldly’ and the ‘secular’: ‘Priests who withdraw from secularism give birth to religious clergy, And those who keep themselves involved in secular matters give birth to the secular clergy. ' This distinction forms the basis of the distinction between Augustine’s ‘City of Gods’ and ‘City of Man’.
The second transformation took place in the sixteenth century when the subject of atheism was omitted with the word; As a result, secularization meant the transfer of a person or object from church ownership to earthly ownership, or in other words, from church affiliation to civic affiliation.
This money came to prominence after the end of what became known as the Thirty Years' War (1817-1847) between Catholics and Protestants. It can be said that the Peace of Westphalia (1847) institutionalized this meaning of secularism. But the Treaties of Westphalia had two elements: one was to establish the principle that disputes between states would be settled without regard to religion; The other is to accept that within the state, ‘Qius Regio, Yus Religio’ means the religion of the one whose kingdom.
This means that while religion has been excluded from international relations, the state that can be built on religion has not been blown away; In other words, it legitimized a "conventional" state.17 The third transformation took place in the nineteenth century when Holyoke coined the term secularism. Later it became known as the movement to separate the relationship between religion and politics. In the following century, secularism was seen as an integral part of progress and development.
These transformations of the meaning of secularism clearly show that it is not a static concept and that it has gone through various changes over the last seven centuries. Thus, it may not be wise to take the current meaning as the final version of the concept.
In this context, the question has been raised in recent decades as to whether secularism, as a political doctrine, provides enough perspective to read and explain the recent challenges of religion in politics, law, and public life, large and small, in public and everyday life. Emergence is not the cause of the conflict with secularism and the challenge to secularism.
Indeed, the expectation that religion would diminish in public life or that religion would be privatized in non-Western societies has been disproved, and the re-emergence of religion as a force in Western societies has encouraged a critical evaluation of the concept of secularism. But the primary reason for the reassessment is that there is a flaw in the ‘conceptual and empirical framework of secularism’.
Sociologists of various persuasions have brought to the fore the issue of ‘secularism’, at least the conventional notion of secularism. Notable among them are Perth Chatterjee, Ashish Nandy, TN Madan, Talal Asad, Charles Taylor, William Connolly, John Kane, Craig Calhoun, and Jürgen Habermas. Others, such as Rajiv Varghese and Achin Vanayek, have argued for the idea of secularism, but they have also argued for the need to reconsider the concept.
Ashish Nandi's unequivocal statement shows how strong this criticism is. According to Nandi, secularism is ‘impossible to accept as the religion of life in general, shared with all, useless as the basis of state work and failed as a plan for the distant future.
Thoughts differ widely among these sociologists, but one of the things that hold them together is that they all criticize ‘reason’ as the fundamental basis of secularism. Until a while ago, secularism was praised for relying on rationality. It was seen as a result of enlightenment; The Enlightenment emphasized logic, analysis, and individuality as opposed to tradition and religion.
However, it is now a matter of debate as to whether 'argument' was given more importance than it deserved. In his book The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, Steven Smith summarizes the essentials of this debate. According to him, no argument is secular in itself, there is no secular argument to prove the rationale of why a person decides another type of action instead of one. In the context of the debate on secularism, Craig Calhoun is:
Some proponents, unfortunately, present a simple, de facto fundamentalist interpretation of the argument in favor of the argument against religion. They imagine logic to be more self-sufficient in one way or another than is possible. Such descriptions are at the same time unsupported and hinder the broader coordination and similar perceptions among citizens [thoughts].
Similarly, Philip Gorski and others have sharply criticized secularists for their profound belief in reason. According to them, ‘it was probably the secularists, not the theologians, who were blind. But it is not because of darkness, but because of the light of the argument of enlightenment.
Critics not only point to the conceptual inadequacy of existing secularism but also point out the remedies for perceived weaknesses. Some of these are Jose Casanova's 23 religions, Alfred Stepan's 'dual tolerance' 24, Charles Taylor's 'revolutionary secularism' 25, and Rajiv Varghese's 'policy distance'.
Stepan’s ‘dual tolerance’ emphasizes the clear distance and mutual respect between political authorities and religious leaders and groups. "When true segregation is achieved, the religious sector will enjoy the freedom of action and be able to peacefully influence its members without controlling political power." Religion may not have special public significance in writing.
This does not mean, however, that religion has no public significance. I have no prejudice against any of them. The purpose of my speech is to point out that the concept of secularism has come up again and is now going through a fourth transformation.
Secularism as the principle of governing the state
Probably the most influential of the two aspects of secularism is the principle of governance. Because it is related to the daily life of the people. Secularism as the principle of governance refers to certain principles of separation of religion and political authority. This principle can be adhered to for a variety of reasons: in the interest of maintaining the state's neutrality in each religion or in protecting the freedom of thought of every individual, or in ensuring equal benefits for all religious or non-religious citizens by participating in the democratic process.
Such a doctrine of governance does not take into account or require any individual "theory" of "religion", whether positive or negative.
It is generally assumed that the principle of governance requires two principles: the principle of separation and the principle of state control. However, in some cases, these two principles cannot be separated. Based on this concept, four models of the ‘secular state’ have emerged since the nineteenth century.
These are commonly referred to as French, British, American, and Indian models. However, some scholars have divided these models into two broad categories: Assertive Secularism and Passive Secularism.30 However, due to the differences between them, we will discuss them in the form of four models. The basic premise of the French model is that the state protects citizens from religion, and its extension is that the state controls religious matters.
This model, known as laïcité, expels religion from the public sphere both political and social. In short, it can be said that the state maintains neutrality in religious matters and completely separates the religious sphere and the public sphere. According to Olivia Roy, Leicit has "an exaggerated, politicized and ideological form of Western secularism" and both legal and ideological elements. It sets the course for how society defines itself politically. '
‘Congress will not enact any legislation that respects religious establishment or hinders the free practice of religion.’ This is commonly known as the ‘wall of separation or ‘separation between state and church. It can be seen as a separation of church and state to protect one from the other, rather than trying to control religion in public. Due to this interpretation of segregation, the state maintains distance from religion even though there is a widespread religious practice in the society.
In the British model, society is more secular, but the state is symbolically associated with religion. The British King / Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the 27-member Bishop of the House of Lords, the upper house of government. But at least in the sense of segregation, the secularization of society is quite deep. The essence of the Indian model of secularism is 'Sarvadharmasambhava' (meaning all religions are true and equal).
It emphasizes the notion that "all religions are meaningful and that all religions should have a proper place in national life." As a result of this policy, the issue of secularization of the masses has become, in the words of Achin Vanayek, ‘effectively [an] unquestionable matter’. This means that it has been assumed that society is secular, whether it exists or not.
These models of the secular state are not merely a reflection of secularism as a worldview, but more importantly, they are also the result of the historical evolution of those societies: ‘The emergence of the secular state in Western democracies was not an institutionalization of abstract secular ideals When such distances were not effective, all these institutional arrangements were the result of the lessons learned from the history of religious-communal strife by both the church and the state.35 Consider the French model as an example.
The emergence of a strictly secular state in France is due to the power of the clergy, their role during and after the French Revolution, and their opposition to the clergy in society. The crackdown is the result of a strong reaction from Republican supporters to the right-wing Catholic nationalists' hostility to the French Republic. ‘This harsh version of secularism was the result of the Church’s struggle for apostasy, the struggle against priestly authority. It was going on in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. '
Thus, there are different types of secularism as a principle of governance. There is no single model of the secular state.
Secular state on the fence of criticism?
One topic that comes up again and again in the discussion of secularism is the activities of secular states in Western societies; What these states have done, what they have not done. It is generally seen that the role of secular state activities is behind the rise of religious-political power as a challenge to religion and the state as an ideology against hegemony. Opponents of secularism (opponents, not critics) often insist that secular states have failed and that the reason for this failure is the ideological position of the states.
To determine the relationship between the activities of the secular state and the challenges to secularism, it is essential to keep in mind certain aspects of the emergence and development of the state in Western societies. First, history has shown that in Western societies, states originated colonially or where they did not develop for colonial reasons (eg, Thailand, China, Russia, or Turkey), states consciously engaged in modernization efforts based on European models.
While it is true that these states have some local characteristics of their own, they seem to have been parachuted down from the skies during the colonial rule, and the leaders of the freedom struggle have embraced them, that border, that administration, that legal framework, and so on. States have gone through this process, they have inherited some ideologies, including secularism.
Second, the legitimacy of secular nationalism — especially in post-colonial states has not arisen from history or the past, but from promises; This legitimacy does not originate from the source, but its expected effects. ’36 Thus, states are judged based on their success in fulfilling their promises, on their efficiency, on their successes and failures.
Third, in the West, especially in post-colonial societies, the state becomes an important or central institution, and often the state becomes more powerful than society. The state becomes a central institution not only in terms of economic activities but also in the activities required for the economic process.
In all these societies the state becomes an agency/institution of hegemony. In such a situation, the ruling class, whatever it may be, uses the state as an agency of hegemony/authority and thereby imposes a new doctrine (or value system) that is considered superior to all other doctrines. Often this new doctrine is a different form of secular nationalism.
Secular nationalism then became the ideology that legitimized the ruling class and the omnipresent, interventionist, and plundering state. In this situation, secularism not only enjoys the patronage of the state but also becomes a project of the state.
Secularism and the relationship between the state became inseparable in Western societies because of these three characteristics of the state. As a result, the activities of the state, his successes and failures became an important issue. In 1994, Mark Juergensmeyer showed that "secular states in many parts of the world have failed to live up to their promises of political independence, economic prosperity, and social justice." William Miles's study, published in 1998, reiterates these demands.
The religious dimension has been added as a new subject. Mosques, temples, churches) survive. Unequal economic development, including urbanization, an end to the hegemony of secular politics, and the opportunistic politics of secular parties are important factors in the rise of religious-political forces around the world.
It should be remembered that In this situation these institutions create opportunities for the activism of the common man to provide a physical and moral range, moral leadership, and authority. The important thing is that these things are not isolated from each other, and all these things do not need to happen together.
Over the decades, authoritarian regimes have become a feature of many states in North Africa, West Asia, and South Asia. Examples include Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Not realizing the democratic aspirations of the citizens is a great feature of the history of these states.
These failures have legitimized the states and the elite ruling class. As the ruling elite no longer maintains hegemony over the common people, conflicting, divisive tendencies are emerging in these societies. On the one hand, the elite ruling class is resorting to various means to maintain its dominance overpower; Religious-political forces, on the other hand, are trying to show that these failures are inextricably linked with secular liberal ideology. Due to the absence of a hegemonic ideology, religion is trying to fill that void, and everyday life, discourse, and politics are becoming full of religious or religious symbols, discourses, and sayings.
The same is true of India, the world's largest democracy. In India, when Indira Gandhi's government (1981-198) became more authoritarian and started using religion for short-term gain, the people lost interest in Congress. In the Ashutosh version, he mentions that the Indian Congress was "once a strong organization involved in nation-building and formation, ... [in the 1980s] turned into a faded, weak character, a gigantic figure."
Towards an organizational and ideological vacuum was created in Indian politics. Organizationally the Congress was exhausted. Ideologically, they were not sure about what they believed in. '43 At that time, religious-political forces emerged as the main driving force in mainstream politics.
Another issue that is easily overlooked in the emergence of state-sponsored secularism is the difference between the state and the masses. Despite the demands and behaviors of modernization and secularization of the state, the reality in the society changes slowly. There is a clear inequality between the demands of the state and the reality of change.
The state often fails to reduce the overall influence of religion due to the absence of secularization. There its influence is only forcibly removed from the state to society. Religion is dormant there, its ability to turn around completely and enter into state influence is not exhausted.
Alternation of conclusion
It is not my intention to summarize the new perspectives, discussions, and thoughts that I have mentioned in this discussion, especially on secularism. Conclusion of the discussion I would like to draw your attention to just a few things.
First of all, it is necessary to think about the conventional divisive thinking — ‘conservative’ religion versus ‘progressive’ secularism, and perhaps it is urgent to challenge this division. This is because the general idea of secularism is historically and epistemologically related to the specific interpretation of a particular religion.
It is now questionable to consider secularism as the equivalent of modernity, logic, and liberation. Modernity, logic, and the path to liberation are not confined to secularism in the conventional sense. To many, it is an unnecessary matter. Because, from this point of view, a rich tradition of criticizing secularism has already developed.
Second, I have tried to point out that there is no single concept of secularism. There are different types of it as ideology and state policy. We see that secularism has taken different forms in normative consideration and practice. All this diversity is due to the individuality of certain societies and states.
But that is not the only reason for diversity. To speak singularly about secularism means to say that there is a universal concept of secularism as the norm. So, perhaps we should use the plural about the idea, to make sense of saying secularisms.
Third, it calls for a vigorous discussion of the prospects and dynamics of secularism in South Asia in general and particularly countries like India and Bangladesh. In this regard, I agree with TN Madan, ‘The transferability of the concept of secularism in South Asian states [i.e., the issue of importing it from outside] is a problem and should not be taken for granted. Secularism must be properly considered; Which does not mean dismissing it, but finding a suitable way to express it.
It must be acknowledged that in multi-religious societies such as South Asia, secularism cannot be confined to rationalism alone, it is consistent with religion, and rationalism (as understood in the West) is not the sole motivation of the nation-state. What will be the institutional aspects of such a position is an important question and they need to be found out. '
Fourth, I would like to add with the previous discussion that this institutional settlement must be determined through a participatory democratic process so that the people can participate equally in this discussion, in the formulation of new institutional arrangements, despite differences in ideological beliefs.
In this regard, I agree with Charles Taylor that "we think that secularism (or licentiousness) is a matter of religion's relationship with the state, but in fact, it is a matter of the democratic state's (correct) response to the diversity that exists in society." Speaking of which, it must be based on basic democratic principles, that is, pluralism and the protection and tolerance of diversity will be its main basis.
Democracy guarantees the rights and freedoms of the individual for all religions, gender, political beliefs, and so on. Deviating from these principles to justify secularism is not only positive, it is even detrimental to secularism.
Fifth, if it is not clear from my aforesaid statement, I would like to reiterate in unequivocal language that I do not support any alternative to secularism, but rather I am talking about many kinds of alternative secularism. I would like to emphasize the importance of everyone's participation in the ongoing discussions on the role of religion in politics and public life, with no pre-determined solution in mind and no specific institutional structure as the goal.
Even when secularism is singular, secularism has different perspectives and different institutional formats. Since the concept of secularism has emerged as a result of different types of power relations, it needs to be seen as a moving and changing concept.
Vincent Pecora says, ‘Secularism itself is not just a general term, it represents a negative state of the absence of religious faith — whatever it means; Rather, it is a word that creates almost the same ambiguity as "religion." Ashish Nandi thinks secularism means imposing Western values on Western religious groups, while Talal Asad thinks secularism is the work of a certain ruling class. Even if we do not agree with all these statements, we can no longer afford to see the secular in the light of neutral, unhistorical, non-political, and pure rationality.
Notes & References
- Saba Mahmud, ‘Secularism, Hermeneutics, and Empire: The Politics of Islamic Reformation.’ Public Culture, 18 (2), 2006, 323 (323-347)
- Jurgan Habermas, ‘Religion in the Public Sphere’, European Journal of Philosophy, 14 (1), 2006, 16 (1-25)
- Richard Ekins, ‘Secular Fundamentalism and Democracy’, Journal of Markets and Morality, 8 (1), Spring 2005, 82 (81-93).
- George Jacob Holyoake, The Principles of Secularism. 3rd ed rev. London: Austin, 1870, 11.
- Charles Taylor, ‘Modes of Secularism’, in Rajeev Bhargava, ed., Secularism and Its Critics, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998, 31.
- Nader Hashmi, Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, 106.
- The Turkish Constitutional Court, 16 January 1998, no. 1998/1.
- Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005, 191.
- Peter L Berger, ‘Some Second Thoughts on Substantive versus Functional Definitions of Religion’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 13 (2), June, 1974, 132, (125-133).
- Jose Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
- Peter L. Berger, ‘Secularism in retreat’, The National Interest. 46, Winter 1996; 3
- David Herbert, Religion and Civil Society: Rethinking Public Religion in the Contemporary World. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2003
- T N Madan, ‘Secularism in Its Place,’ in Rajeev Bhargava (ed.), Secularism and Its Critics, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005, 308 (297-320).
- Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, 13.
- Craig Calhoun. ‘The Political Future of Religion and Secularism.’ La Clé des Langues (Lyon: ENS LYON/DGESCO). ISSN 2107-7029. Mis à jour le 21 février 2013http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/the-political-future-of-religion-and-secularism-180922.kjsp
- Vanaik, The Furies of Communalism, 1997, 39.
- William F.S. Miles, ‘Political Para-theology Rethinking Religion, Politics and Democracy’, Third World Quarterly, 17, 1996: 525 (525-536)
- Vincent Pecora, ‘Rethinking secularism: Secularism, secularization, and why the difference matters’, The Immanent Frame, SSRC, 2010; http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2010/06/18/why-the-difference-matters/
- Stanley J Tambiah, ‘The Crisis of Secularism in India’ in Rajeev Bhargava (ed.), Secularism and Its Critics, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005, 422 (418-452).
- Larry Diamond, in Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner and Philip J. Costopoulos (eds.) World Religions and Democracy, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.