Abstract and Keywords
This chapter seeks to broaden the focus of peace studies in its considerations of religious-secular relations by retrieving a thicker meaning of secularism. According to an emerging consensus in the field of peace studies, the secularist paradigm has long excluded religious actors from peacebuilding. This chapter argues that although critique of this dynamic and the larger critique of secularism are necessary the field of peace studies must also move beyond them and probe the potential of the encounters between secular and religious actors for building justpeace. By considering Solidarity, a 1980s social movement in Communist Poland, the chapter retrieves a more nuanced meaning of secular agency and secularism and expands the horizons of peace studies in two ways. First, it describes the possibilities of religious-secular encounters among local actors in civil society and rather than on the levels of states or religious institutions. Second, the chapter retrieves a form of secularism that is not just a matter of power or ideology but a a moral orientation and practice that discloses rather than legitimizes state power.
Keywords: secularism, secular agency, religious agency, nation-state, religious-secular collaborations and peacebuilding, justpeace, social movement, Solidarity movement, secular-religious alliances, secular state
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