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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the definitions, experiences, and sociocultural construction of secularity. How do people make meaning out of, and in relation to, the secular? The chapter focuses on those individuals and groups who either reject or are uninterested in religion and who hold no theistic beliefs. This is different task from an academic conversation about historical secularism, the functions of secular states or governments, or the historical processes and expressions of secularization. Ideas of the secular, secularism, and secularity are not easy and straightforward concepts. Their meaning(s) and implications are more varied, flexible, and contested than is often assumed: the secular itself involves many paths and meanings and is expressed and experienced in different ways. It is important to go beyond a simplistic “religious life” versus “secular life” distinction and recognize the variability and versatility of secularity, as that variety is becoming increasingly clear in the contemporary landscape.

Keywords: secular, secularity, secular life, secular meaning, social secularity, psychology, sociology

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