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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

“Persistent unsecularity” more accurately represents the dynamic relationship between religion, modernization, and society in the contemporary world than the secularization paradigm. Secularization is flawed on several counts. It infuses vague concepts like “modernity” and “rationality” with transcendent and irreversible agency, pitting them against religion in a zero-sum conflict that is both self-contradictory and unfalsifiable. In fact, the secularization paradigm is itself a religious worldview, supporting the claim that human persons naturally seek to infuse their lives—as individuals and in community—with unsecular interpretations, activities, and engagement. Despite claims to the contrary, religious structures, frameworks, symbols, and actors are powerfully present in the realities of conflict, violence, and peacemaking around the globe today, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Keywords: unsecularity, secularization, modernization, fundamentalism, rationalization, peacebuilding, religious peacebuilding

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