Secular States and Religious Diversity
348 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2014
Release Date:25 Oct 2013
Release Date:25 Oct 2013

Secular States and Religious Diversity

UBC Press

Contemporary nation-states have seen the rise of religious pluralism within their borders, brought about by global migration and the challenge of radical religious movements. Secular States and Religious Diversity explores the meaning of secularism and religious freedom in these new contexts. The contributors chart the impact of globalization, the varying forms of secularism in Western states, and the different kinds of relations between states and religious institutions in the historical traditions and contemporary politics of Islamic, Indic, and Chinese societies. They also examine the limitations and dilemmas of governmental responses to religious diversity, and grapple with the question of how secular states deal (and should deal) with such pluralism. This volume brings in perspectives from the non-Western world and engages with viewpoints that might increase states’ capacities to accommodate religious diversity positively.

This volume will interest scholars working in public policy, political philosophy and sociology, religious studies, and law, as well as readers interested in the relations between state and religion, the secular state, the politics of religious accommodation and inter-religious dialogue.

Bruce J. Berman is a professor emeritus of political studies at Queen’s University and was director of the Ethnicity and Democratic Governance project from 2006 to 2012. Rajeev Bhargava is a senior fellow at and director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. André Laliberté is a professor of political studies at the University of Ottawa.

Contributors: Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Lori G. Beaman, Peter Beyer, Paul Bramadat, Elinor Bray-Collins, Claude Couture, Anna Drake, Ahmet T. Kuru, Rinku Lamba, Manuel Litalien, David Seljak


Introduction: Globalization, Secular States, and Religious Diversity / Bruce J. Berman, Rajeev Bhargava, and André Laliberté

Part 1: Historical and Theoretical Approaches

1 Religious Pluralism as a Self-Evident Problem in the Context of Globalization / Peter Beyer

2 Secular Modernity, Religion, and the Politics of Knowledge / Bruce J. Berman

3 Can Secularism Be Rehabilitated? / Rajeev Bhargava

Part 2: Secularisms in the West

4 Between Secularism and Postsecularism: A Canadian Interregnum / Paul Bramadat and David Seljak

5 Tolerance and Accommodation as Vestiges of the Empire / Lori G. Beaman

6 In God We Trust? Secular States, Diversity, and the “Clash” within North America / Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Claude Couture

7 Ideologies, Institutions, and Laws: Religious Freedom in Secular States / Ahmet T. Kuru

Part 3: Secularisms beyond the West

8 State Intervention in the Reform of a “Religion of Rules”: An Analysis of the Views of B.R. Ambedkar / Rinku Lamba

9 Something Got Lost in Translation: From “Secularism” to “Separation between Politics and Religion” in Taiwan / André Laliberté

10 The Changing State Monopoly on Religion and Secular Views in Thailand / Manuel Litalien

11 State-Society Structures and the Frustration of Movements for Secular Reforms in Lebanon: Civil Marriage and Youth Activism / Elinor Bray-Collins

Conclusion: Secularism, Religious Diversity, and Democratic Politic / Anna Drake

Contributors; Index

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