Religion in Postsecular Context


Theorising Post-Secular Society

In this article, the author speaks self-consciously as a man of faith addressing both believers and non-believers, but with the latter especially in mind.

Some Aspects of Desecularization in Post-Soviet Russia

The article deals with desecularization in post-Soviet Russia as a backlash of massive secularization in the Soviet Union. Author presents analysis of different aspects of secularization typical to communist countries such as «hyper-privatization of religion» and what he calls «distillation of the religious consciousness.» He then explores special features of religion’s revival in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet system.

The Conceptual Foundations of the Desecularization Theory

The paper attempts at achieving the conceptual understanding of the desecularization, the idea first proposed by Peter L. Berger in late 1990s. The idea still lacks theoretical elaboration as the sociology of religion is usually late in such theoretical enterprise; this paper tries to fill the gap. In doing so, the author starts with using categorical language of the secularization theory, which was developed in the course of the twentieth century. Yet he adds other theoretical frames and takes a new approach concentrating upon actors, patterns, regimes, and levels of desecularization.

Understanding the Secular

The article explores the notion of «secular» and other terms that include this Latin root – secularization, secularism, de-secularization, and post-secular. All these terms are used in various ways by different researchers and in normatively biased ways both within and beyond academia, yielding much confusion. The author attempts to unpack the meanings behind these terms and organize a certain logical matrix for their use.

Post-Secular Conceptualization of Religion: Formulating the Problem

The author develops a new conception of religion appropriate for modern post-secular conditions. In these conditions, neither secular model of religion, typical to Modernity, nor pre-secular understanding of religion / religiosity can be considered as fitting to socio-cultural reality. It is especially stressed that secular understanding of premodern religion distorts religion’s nature by allotting it a fixed and therefore limited place in line with the idea and practice of functional differentiation typical to European societies of the Modern age.

Religion in Postsecular Society

The author deals with the new functions of religion and the sacred in societies that are dubbed «postsecular». He makes an overview of famous social philosophers, such as Habermas, Taylor, Rorty and others, who write about religion and the secular. The author believes that philosophers often ignore the empirical reality and the sociological data and concentrate upon «beliefs» instead of deeper levels of social imbedding of religion, religious practices, and everyday behavior and values.

No. 2 (30) 2012

Secularization Falsified

The article gives a panorama of religious revival which is being witnessed all over the world. Special attention is devoted to Islam and Evangelicalism. This religious revival forces researchers to rethink their conclusions concerning the inevitability of secularization. Instead of expecting the disappearance of religion and its removal out of the public sphere, one should strive for moderation in religious questions, which could be the best defense against aggressive fundamentalists.