Exploring the Post-Secular, Yale University, April 3-4, 2009, sponsored by Yale's MacMillan Center Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society, Yale's Center for Comparative Research, and the Social Science Research Council
Exploring the Post-Secular
April 3-4, 2009
There has been a great deal of talk in recent years suggesting that we have entered a “post-secular” age. Much of this is a response to the resurgence of politicized religion on the world scene. But what, if anything, does the term “post-secular” even mean? Have we really entered into a post-secular age? And if so, what implications, if any, does this have for the social sciences? Do these developments imply a new approach to the study of religion? A wholesale reconstruction of social science? A shift towards social philosophy? Is there such a thing as “post-secular social science”?
This conference brings together a number of analysts of religion and its entanglements with the world in an attempt to assess these questions. We will address the possible meanings of religion and of the various terms with roots in the term “secular”: secularism, secularity, secularization. Without some grappling with the question of what religion is, it is very difficult to say what secularity or secularization might entail. We will explore the extent to which the “return of religion” is a product of an actual upsurge of religiosity around the world as opposed to greater scholarly attention to religion. We will also examine the ways in which the global religious situation may compel us to reconsider how we think about both religion and social science.
Participants: Courtney Bender, Craig Calhoun, Jose Casanova, Fred Dallmyr, Deborah Davis, Michelle Dillon, Penny Edgell, Philip Gorski, David Kyuman Kim, Pericles Lewis, Paul Lichterman, David Little, Steven Lukes, Richard Madsen, Tomoko Masuzawa, Eduardo Mendieta, David Morgan, Aditya Nigam, Arvind Rajagopal, John Schmalzbauer, James K. A. Smith, Peter Steinfels, John Torpey, Bryan Turner, Ludger Viefhues-Bailey, Hent de Vries
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