The Categories of Religion and the Secular in the Post-Secular Discourse

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: English

When we talk about “post-secularity”, what do we actually mean by “religion” and the “secular”? How and why do we conceptually distinguish them? What are norms and imperatives in such a classificatory practice? This is a regular session which critically examines the religious-secular dichotomy in the discourse of “post-secularity”.
The demarcation between “religion” and the “secular” has been critically examined for some decades by many scholars. In particular, the so-called “critical religion” theory argues that the religious-secular dichotomy is the key binary that constitutes modernity and serves the hegemony of liberal capitalist nation-states. Furthermore, it proclaims that the religious-secular binary is an ideological basis for mystifying “natural reason”, and thus questions modern formations of knowledge and power in general.
Have sociologists considered such critique of the religious-secular dichotomy seriously and constructively in their own discourse on “post-secularity”? Should the religious-secular dichotomy in the post-secular discourse be critically deconstructed? When the religious-secular dichotomy is so deeply embedded in sociological discourse that sociologists uncritically identify their discipline as “secular”, should the discipline of sociology be regarded as an “ideological state apparatus”?
This session invites papers which critically examine, in the context of the post-secular discourse, norms and imperatives which govern specific configuration of the religious-secular dichotomy.
Session Organizer:
Mitsutoshi HORII, Shumei University, Japan
Mitsutoshi HORII, Shumei University, United Kingdom
Is Shinto Secular? the 2016 G7 Meeting at Ise in Light of Postwar Japanese Secularism
Ernils LARSSON, Uppsala University, Faculty of Theology, History of Religions, Sweden
Dealing with Uncertainty: A Social Theoretical Idea Beyond the Religion Versus Secular Dichotomy
Silke GUELKER, WZB Social Science Research Center Berlin, Germany
The Nonreligious/Secular Comfort Zone of Human Rights Reconsidered
Haimo SCHULZ MEINEN, Institute of Sociology, Germany