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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationship between religion, nationalism, and the state and advocates a truly neutral conception of secularism. The point of departure is an analysis of the recurring debate over the proper role of religion in public life. Particular attention is given to the relationship between religion and nationalism, the secularization thesis, and the reasons religion remains an important part of modern politics. The chapter then turns toward the “politics of secularism,” and the tension between liberal (or ecumenical) secularism in theory and its practice. At issue is whether the secular tradition is invariably exclusive, or whether secularism as implemented has simply failed to live up to its ecumenical promise. The closing section examines this question in light of the justpeace tradition, and offers an endorsement for a re-conceptualized vision of secularism that is genuinely defined by neutrality in matters of religion and belief.

Keywords: religion and politics, nationalism, secularism, liberalism, secularization thesis, justpeace

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