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The Normative Status of Secularity and Islamic Genealogies of Worldliness

Keynote Lecture by Reinhard Schulze

12 October 2023, 7 p.m.
Bibliotheca Albertina, Lecture Hall
Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig

In the course of its research activities, the KFG Multiple Secularities has successfully worked on the development of a new research paradigm that focuses on a synchronic as well as diachronic examination of global processes of differentiation of religious and secular orders. It remains a matter of debate whether "secularity" can be expanded into an analytical concept that could serve as a key term for a transcultural theory of the modern order of religion and the world. It is still undecided whether (1) there can be a global theory of secularity at all beyond the nominalistic content of the term and, if so, whether (2) such a “realist” theory can also be applied diachronically to traditions for which the term "secularity" has not been empirically documented. Furthermore, (3) the question must be clarified how the process leading to the differentiation of a normative order into religious and worldly orders can be modelled historiographically. Finally, (4) it is to be determined more precisely whether, in a world-historical perspective, there is today a normative order that has standardised the religion and secularity order, and, if so, how they have genealogically converged in a standardised order of modern "secularity". I would like to pursue these questions in the context of the history of the Islamic tradition and propose preliminary answers.

This lecture is the keynote of our conference Eight Years CASHSS "Multiple Secularities": Outcome and Prospects through the Eyes of our Interlocutors. We are looking forward to meet  you  at the conference, please register via

Bibliotheca Albertina