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How Modern is Secularity?

The KFG "Multiple Secularities" will present the panel "How Modern is Secularity? A Discussion of Historical Precursors to Modern Forms of the Religious-Secular Divide" at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) on 18 November 2017.

Our director Monika Wohlrab-Sahr will preside a roundtable discussion featuring our other director Christoph Kleine and the KFG's Senior Researcher Markus Dreßler as well as former fellow in residence C. Pierce Salguero and our prospective fellows Adrian Hermann and Sven Bretfeld.

The roundtable discussion will engage the question of the heuristic usefulness of the modern concept of secularity as a meta-linguistic analytical term for describing certain forms of societal differentiation, and emic conceptual distinctions related to them, in non-Western pre-modern societies. While all modern societies had and still have to deal with the Western concept of the secular and formations of secularity, the ways in that this concept and secular formations were adopted, rejected, or indigenized are manifold. These differences in dealing with or organizing secularity still await an explanation which must take into account the specificities of the historical situations in which non-Western societies encountered Western hegemonic knowledge regimes and corresponding institutional and organizational orders. Thus we ask for indigenous conceptual distinctions of cultural domains and forms of structural differentiation of fields of social practice which may have favored or hindered the adoption of modern formations of secularity.

Programme (PDF)

Programme (WEB)

Secularism and Secularity Unit and Sociology of Religion
Unit and Critical Research on Religion

Theme: How Modern is Secularity? A Discussion of Historical
Precursors to Modern Forms of the Religious-Secular Divide

Saturday, 1:00 PM–3:30 PM

Hynes Convention Center-209 (Second Level)

Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, Leipzig University, Presiding

Christoph Kleine, Leipzig University
Adrian Hermann, University of Bonn
Sven Bretfeld, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Markus Dressler, Leipzig University
C. Pierce Salguero, Pennsylvania State University, Abington

Business Meeting:
Joseph Blankholm, University of California, Santa Barbara, and
Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Henry Luce Foundation, New York,
NY, Presiding