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Books

Here you will find an overview of the books published by the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences on "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities" and its members on various forms of secularity.

The work in the research group is characterised by collaborative formats such as workshops and conferences, the results of which are published in the form of special issues and edited volumes and can also be found here.

Use the search box below to search through all titles and abstracts and find titles that are relevant to you more quickly.

2018

A Secular Age Beyond the West

Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa

Mirjam Künkler, John Madeley, Shylashri Shankar

A Secular Age Beyond the West

This book traces religion and secularity in eleven countries not shaped by Western Christianity (Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco), and how they parallel or diverge from Charles Taylor's grand narrative of the North Atlantic world, A Secular Age (2007). In all eleven cases, the state - enhanced by post-colonial and post-imperial legacies - highly determines religious experience, by variably regulating religious belief, practice, property, education, and/or law. Taylor's core condition of secularity - namely, legal permissibility and social acceptance of open religious unbelief (Secularity III) - is largely absent in these societies. The areas affected by state regulation, however, differ greatly. In India, Israel and most Muslim countries, questions of religious law are central to state regulation. But it is religious education and organization in China and church property and public practice in Russia that bear the brunt. This book explains these differences using the concept of 'differential burdening'.


Künkler, Mirjam, John Madeley, and Shylashri Shankar, eds. A Secular Age Beyond the West: Religion, Law and the State in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

2018

Religious Pluralism and the City

Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism

Helmuth Berking, Silke Steets, Jochen Schwenk

 Religious Pluralism and the City

Religious Pluralism and the City challenges the notion that the city is a secular place, and calls for an analysis of how religion and the city are intertwined. It is the first book to analyze the explanatory value of a number of typologies already in use around this topic – from "holy city" to "secular city", from "fundamentalist" to "postsecular city". By intertwining the city and religion, urban theory and theories of religion, this is the first book to provide an international and interdisciplinary analysis of post-secular urbanism.

The book argues that, given the rise of religiously inspired violence and the increasing significance of charismatic Christianity, Islam and other spiritual traditions, the master narrative that modern societies are secular societies has lost its empirical plausibility. Instead, we are seeing the pluralization of religion, the co-existence of different religious worldviews, and the simultaneity of secular and religious institutions that shape everyday life. These particular constellations of "religious pluralism" are, above all, played out in cities.
Including contributions from Peter L. Berger and Nezar Alsayyad, this book conceptually and empirically revokes the dissolution between city and religion to unveil its intimate relationship, and offers an alternative view on the quotidian state of the global urban condition.

Table of contents

Berking, Helmuth, Silke Steets, and Jochen Schwenk, eds. Religious Pluralism and the City: Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.

2018

Die Religiöse Stiftung im Islam (waqf) nach hanafitischer Lehre

Die stiftungsrechtliche Kodifikation von Qadrî Pâshâ

Hans-Georg Ebert

Die Religiöse Stiftung im Islam (waqf) nach hanafitischer Lehre

Hans-Georg Ebert provides a commented, critical translation into German of Muhammad Qadrî Pâshâ's (d. 1886) compilation of waqf-law, which can be seen as a legal source for the national laws of Islamic countries. Hence, standards and methods can be derived from it to reform the religious endowments to strengthen their social responsibility. The text was printed in 1894 in Bûlâq (Cairo) following an Arabic manuscript (646 articles).


Der ägyptische Jurist Muhammad Qadrî Pâshâ (gest. 1886) erstellte Ende des 19. Jh. nach den Kodifikationen zum islamischen Familienrecht und zum islamischen Zivilrecht auch eine solche zum Recht der Religiösen Stiftung (waqf) auf hanafitischer Grundlage. Er orientierte sich dabei vor allem an den klassischen islamischen Rechtswerken und Fatwâ-Sammlungen. Nach dem Muster europäischer Gesetzeswerke untergliederte der Autor das Sachgebiet in einzelne Kapitel und Abschnitte. Damit schuf er ein wichtiges Referenzwerk, welches nach seinem Tode erstmals 1894 in Kairo im Druck erschien. Qadrî Pâshâ nutzte verschiedene Methoden der hanafitischen Lehre, um den Rechtstext an die existierenden gesellschaftlichen Bedingungen und Herausforderungen anzupassen. Die in der Folgezeit veröffentlichten Gesetze der arabischen Länder zur Religiösen Stiftung konnten auf den Text zurückgreifen. Dabei ging und geht es vor allem um eine zeitgemäße Verwaltung und gewinnbringende Nutzung von gestifteten Immobilien. Die kommentierte Übersetzung folgt dem arabischen Original.

Ebert, Hans-Georg. Die Religiöse Stiftung im Islam (waqf) nach hanafitischer Lehre: Die stiftungsrechtliche Kodifikation von Qadrî Pâshâ. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2018.

2017

Religious Indifference

New Perspectives from Studies on Secularization and Nonreligion

Johannes Quack, Cora Schuh

Religious Indifference

This book provides a conceptually and empirically rich introduction to religious indifference on the basis of original anthropological, historical and sociological research.

Religious indifference is a central category for understanding contemporary societies, and a controversial one. For some scholars, a growing religious indifference indicates a dramatic decline in religiosity and epitomizes the endpoint of secularization processes. Others view it as an indicator of moral apathy and philosophical nihilism, whilst yet others see it as paving the way for new forms of political tolerance and solidarity. 

This volume describes and analyses the symbolic power of religious indifference and the conceptual contestations surrounding it. Detailed case studies cover anthropological and qualitative data from the UK, Germany, Estonia, the USA, Canada, and India analyse large quantitative data sets, and provide philosophical-literary inquiries into the phenomenon. They highlight how, for different actors and agendas, religious indifference can constitute an objective or a challenge. Pursuing a relational approach to non-religion, the book conceptualizes religious indifference in its interrelatedness with religion as well as more avowed forms of non-religion.


Quack, Johannes, and Cora Schuh, eds. Religious Indifference: New Perspectives from Studies on Secularization and Nonreligion. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017.

2017

The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions

An Integrated Approach

Ugo Dessi

The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions

The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach explores how Japanese religions respond to the relativizing effects of globalization, thereby repositioning themselves as global players. Organized around concrete case studies focusing on the engagement of Japanese Buddhism, Shinto, and several new religious movements in areas such as ecology, inter-religious dialogue, and politics, this book shows that the globalization of Japanese religions cannot be explained simply in terms of worldwide institutional expansion. Rather, it is a complex phenomenon conditioned by a set of pervasive factors: changes in consciousness, the perception of affinities and resonances at the systemic and cultural levels, processes of decontextualization, and a wide range of power issues including the re-enactment of cultural chauvinism.

The author investigates these dynamics systematically with attention to broader theoretical questions, cross-cultural similarities, the definition of religion and the perils of ethnocentrism, in order to develop his Global Repositioning model, which constitutes an integrated approach to the study of Japanese religions under globalization.

An empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed study of the effects of global trends on local religions, this book will appeal to scholars and students with interests in globalization, religious studies, Japanese studies, Hawaii, sociology, anthropology, and ecology.


Dessì, Ugo. The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach. New York: Routledge, 2017.

2017

Zwei Pluralismen

Positionen Aus Sozialwissenschaft Und Theologie Zu Religiöser Vielfalt Und Säkularität

Peter L. Berger, Silke Steets, Wolfram Weiße

 Zwei Pluralismen

Does it still make sense today to assume the secularisation theory or should a theory of pluralisation replace this concept? The paradigm of Peter L. Berger discussed here sees two pluralisms: on the one hand, in the sense of a diversity of religions, world views and value systems in a society, and on the other hand, as the coexistence of religious and secular discourses, without which a modern or even a modernising society cannot exist. This approach was discussed at the scientific symposium of the Academy of World Religions at the University of Hamburg in October 2015. The contributions in the volume address Berger's basic thesis from both theological and sociological perspectives.

Berger, Peter L., Silke Steets, and Wolfram Weiße, eds. Zwei Pluralismen: Positionen Aus Sozialwissenschaft Und Theologie Zu Religiöser Vielfalt Und Säkularität. Münster, New York: Waxmann, 2017.

2017

Formations of the Secular in Japan

Rots, Aike P.; Teeuwen, Mark

Formations of the Secular in Japan

In recent years, a number of new historical studies have traced the formation and development of the category "religion" in (early) modern Japan. They have shed light on the profound political embeddedness of the category, showing how its conceptualization and implementation were intertwined with statehood and national ideology, which led to the transformation of earlier practices and ideas. As these works demonstrate, in modern Japan the newly incorporated category "religion" came to occupy a clearly demarcated space, differentiated from other societal realms such as governance, education, and science. The isolation of secular orthodoxy from a privatized realm of contingent belief was central to the formation of the modern imperial state.


Rots, Aike P.; Teeuwen, Mark (2017). Formations of the Secular in Japan. Japan Review 30.

2017

Faith and Social Movements

Religious Reform in Contemporary India

Chakrabarti, Anindita

Faith and Social Movements

How do we understand the multitude of faith movements in our post-secular world? Faith and Social Movements explores this question by analyzing the theology and practice as well as the transformation of two discrepant religious movements in contemporary India. The research opens up a conversation between the sociology of religion and social movements. Using a comparative lens, two different movements - a Hindu and an Islamic reform movement - have been studied in ethnographic detail. The book is divided into two parts. The first part dwells on Svadhyaya, a Hindu reform movement, and the second part on the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic reform movement. Focusing on the internal dynamics of these movements and the 'unintended consequences' of piety, the author argues that it is only by raising new questions vis-à-vis religion, secularity and civil society that their entanglement could be uncovered. This book aims to raise some of these questions.

Read the Introduction on "Dissent, Religion and Civil Society"

Chakrabarti, Anindita. Faith and Social Movements: Religious Reform in Contemporary India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

2016

Die andere Seite des Islam

Säkularismus-Diskurs und muslimische Intellektuelle im modernen Ägypten

Daniel Kinitz

Die andere Seite des Islam

Secularism (al-'almaniyya) is a central and controversial issue of Islam in Arab societies. The study reconstructs related social problems with reference to newer Egyptian publications and illustrative case studies. For the first time, the ambivalent authority of the Muslim intellectual is analysed sociologically, making an important contribution to the understanding of Islam in the globalised present.


Kinitz, Daniel (2016). Die andere Seite des Islam: Säkularismus-Diskurs und muslimische Intellektuelle im modernen Ägypten. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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