- Lecture/Discussion: 3
Until the end of the 20th century, the social scientific view of modernity seemed settled: it entailed the differentiation of religious and secular spheres, as well as the privatization and eventual disappearance of religion. However, global events invited the reassessment of this widely-held view of modernity as 'secularization' or as the positive triumph of 'secularism.' This course will introduce students to this now rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of 'secular studies,' which is transforming debates in the study of religion, culture, history, politics, philosophy, and beyond. The first part of the course looks at the conceptual and theoretical ideas about secularism and secularity. The second part of the course looks at different 'cases' and explores how they have taken up and are modifying earlier debates.