Religion and the Political Imagination

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Ira Katznelson, Gareth Stedman Jones
Cambridge University Press, Oct 7, 2010 - Political Science
The theory of secularisation became a virtually unchallenged truth of twentieth-century social science. First sketched out by Enlightenment philosophers, then transformed into an irreversible global process by nineteenth-century thinkers, the theory was given substance by the precipitate drop in religious practice across Western Europe in the 1960s. However, the re-emergence of acute conflicts at the interface between religion and politics has confounded such assumptions. It is clear that these ideas must be rethought. Yet, as this distinguished, international team of scholars reveal, not everything contained in the idea of secularisation was false. Analyses of developments since 1500 reveal a wide spectrum of historical processes: partial secularisation in some spheres has been accompanied by sacralisation in others. Utilising new approaches derived from history, philosophy, politics and anthropology, the essays collected in Religion and the Political Imagination offer new ways of thinking about the urgency of religious issues in the contemporary world.

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multiple secularities
1 Secularisation religion and the roots of innovation in the political sphere
2 Regarding toleration and liberalism considerations from the AngloJewish experience
3 The Enlightenment the late eighteenthcentury revolutions and their aftermath the secularising implications of Protestantism?
4 In the lands of the Ottomans religion and politics
5 The Russian Orthodox Church and secularisation
6 The American experience of secularisation
7 French Catholic political thought from the deconfessionalisation of the state to the recognition of religious freedom
10 The disciplining of the religious conscience in nineteenthcentury British politics
11 Colonial secularism and Islamism in North India a relationship of creativity
12 The 1960s
13 Gendering secularisation locating women in the transformation of British Christianity in the 1960s
14 Does constitutionalisation lead to secularisation?
15 Europes uneasy marriage of secularism and Christianity since 1945 and the challenge of contemporary religious pluralism
16 On thick and thin religion some critical reflections on secularisation theory

8 Religion and the origins of socialism
9 From 1848 to Christian Democracy

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About the author (2010)

Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and Research Associate at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Professor Katznelson has published widely on the history of the western liberal tradition.

Gareth Stedman Jones is Professor of Political Thought in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. A fellow of King's College, Cambridge since 1974, he is also Director of the Centre for History and Economics and a Member of the Conseil Scientifique of the CNRS. Professor Stedman Jones has published numerous books and articles on Victorian London and modern European political thought.

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