By Erin K. Wilson (auth.)
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Extra info for After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics
Taylor (2009: 1149) has previously outlined three of the four moves I discuss here – the first being the distinction of church and state, which, I suggest, is part of establishing the possibility and necessity for separating religion and politics. The second is then the actual separation of these two entities. This occurs by establishing separate institutions (‘church’6 and ‘government’) with separate practical jurisdictions for their power and authority. Initially, these jurisdictions were equal, but over time one (religion) becomes subordinated to and controlled by the other (politics).
However, the value of the case study does not lie in what it contributes regarding the relationship between US politics and religion. Rather, the significance of the case study lies in the contribution to developing a framework for analysis of religion and politics that reconceptualizes religion and thus moves past the secularist bias within International Relations. If the relational dialogist approach to religion is able to draw out new insights on the relationship between religion and politics in the US, where a significant amount is already known, this suggests that the relational dialogist approach will also be useful for developing more nuanced understandings of religion and politics in contexts where the connections are not as overt or as welldocumented as they are in the US.
Along with this shift based on position and perspective, historical and cultural shifts in meaning also affect what is considered ‘religious’ and what is considered ‘secular’. Yet this focus on individual church membership and personal beliefs highlights mainstream secularism’s efforts to control what is ‘religious’ and keep it marginalized from politics and public life. The central point to emerge from these critiques of secularization theory is that religion’s influence on society and politics has not necessarily declined, but rather has taken on different forms.
After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics by Erin K. Wilson (auth.)