November 28, 2016

Is Secularism a World Religion?

Regular listeners to the Religious Studies Project will know that we are not the biggest fans of the World Religions Paradigm. Indeed, it was James Cox’s excellent introduction to the topic back in February 2013, and the accompanying response that asked what Religious Studies should do “After the World Religions Paradigm…?” that prompted David and Chris, with some encouragement from Steve Sutcliffe, Russell McCutcheon and Craig Martin, to co-edit the volume “After World Religions“, 15000101_10155505736903677_8007511863507939946_opublished in February 2016 with Routledge. Listeners will also be relatively familiar with the concept of “secularism”, “the secular” and so on – particularly from our podcasts with Joseph Blankholm on “Permutations of the Secular” and with Phil Zuckerman and John Shook on “Understanding the Secular“. Today we thought it would be an interesting exercise to weave these two strands together and rhetorically ask “Is Secularism a World Religion?” Discussion starts with the entanglement of the concepts ‘religion’ and ‘secularism’, a brief discussion of the problems associated with the World Religions Paradigm, and then moves to the pedagogical merits and challenges of teaching ‘secularism/s’ within a World Religions model. We hope you enjoy this experiment!

(pssst…check out these podcasts below too!)

Is Religion Special? A Critical Look at Religion, Wellbeing, and Prosociality with Luke Galen

Is religion ‘sui generis,? with Russell McCutcheon

Secular Humanism with Tom Flynn

The Secularisation Thesis with Linda Woodhead

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3 replies to “Is Secularism a World Religion?

  1. YunZhou

    Excuse me, can you please give me a text about this podcast? Some of the words I can’t listening clear, thanks very much.


    1. Thomas Coleman IIIPost Author Thomas Coleman III

      Hi YunZhou, We are currently working on a way to transcribe all of our podcasts, however we do not have a transcription of this particular podcast yet. We hope to have one sooner rather than later. Thanks for listening and for your patience. -Tommy


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