Abstract and Keywords
Beginning with a focus on ‘secularism’ in the mid-1990s and extending to the study of ‘secularity,’ ‘atheism,’ and ‘irreligious’ and ‘non-religious’ cultures from the mid-2000s onwards, the study of religion’s various ‘others’ is receiving increasing attention from scholars of religion. This chapter untangles the key topic strands in this broad area: non-religious populations; ‘religious-like’ phenomena such as non-religious lifecycle ceremonies and worldviews; dialectics between the religious and non-religious or secular; and secularist regimes of power. It outlines the theoretical concerns of these projects: rival accounts of secularism/s (e.g. postcolonial critiques, realist ‘multiple’ approaches); new ways of investigating and challenging secularization theory; and ‘egalitarian’ approaches to religion which challenge the idea that religion is unique—a sole example of a type. Each of these overlapping areas of research are young fields, and conceptual resources and distinctions are therefore works in progress and require careful negotiation.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.