Religion and the Political Imagination

Overview

The theory of secularisation became a virtually unchallenged truth of twentieth-century social science. First sketched out by Enlightenment philosophers, then transformed into an irreversible global process by nineteenth-century thinkers, the theory was given substance by the precipitate drop in religious practice across Western Europe in the 1960s. However, the re-emergence of acute conflicts at the interface between religion and politics has confounded such assumptions. It is clear that these ideas must be ...

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Overview

The theory of secularisation became a virtually unchallenged truth of twentieth-century social science. First sketched out by Enlightenment philosophers, then transformed into an irreversible global process by nineteenth-century thinkers, the theory was given substance by the precipitate drop in religious practice across Western Europe in the 1960s. However, the re-emergence of acute conflicts at the interface between religion and politics has confounded such assumptions. It is clear that these ideas must be rethought. Yet, as this distinguished, international team of scholars reveal, not everything contained in the idea of secularisation was false. Analyses of developments since 1500 reveal a wide spectrum of historical processes: partial secularisation in some spheres has been accompanied by sacralisation in others. Utilising new approaches derived from history, philosophy, politics and anthropology, the essays collected in Religion and the Political Imagination offer new ways of thinking about the urgency of religious issues in the contemporary world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521147347
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2010
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ira Katznelson

Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and Research Associate at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Professor Katznelson has published widely on the history of the western liberal tradition.

Gareth Stedman Jones is Professor of Political Thought in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. A fellow of King's College, Cambridge since 1974, he is also Director of the Centre for History and Economics and a Member of the Conseil Scientifique of the CNRS. Professor Stedman Jones has published numerous books and articles on Victorian London and modern European political thought.

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Table of Contents

Introduction - multiple secularities Ira Katznelson and Gareth Stedman Jones; 1. Secularisation: religion and the roots of innovation in the political sphere Ingrid Creppell; 2. Regarding toleration and liberalism: considerations from the Anglo-Jewish experience Ira Katznelson; 3. The Enlightenment, the late eighteenth-century revolutions and their aftermath: the 'secularising' implications of Protestantism? David M. Thompson; 4. In the lands of the Ottomans: religion and politics Karen Barkey; 5. The Russian Orthodox Church and secularisation Geoffrey Hosking; 6. The American experience of secularisation Michael O'Brien; 7. French Catholic political thought from the deconfessionalisation of the state to the recognition of religious freedom Emile Perreau-Saussine; 8. Religion and the origins of socialism Gareth Stedman Jones; 9. From 1848 to Christian democracy Christopher Clark; 10. The disciplining of the religious conscience in nineteenth-century British politics Jonathan Parry; 11. Colonial secularisation and Islamism in North India: a relationship of creativity Humeira Iqtidar; 12. The 1960s Hugh McLeod; 13. Gendering secularisation: locating women in the transformation of British Christianity in the 1960s Callum G. Brown; 14. Does constitutionalisation lead to secularisation? Anat Scolnicov; 15. Europe's uneasy marriage of secularisation and Christianity since the 1960s and the challenge of contemporary religious pluralism Jytte Klausen; 16. On thick and thin religion: some critical reflections on secularisation theory Sudipta Kaviraj.

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