This April, Ashgate Publishing will publish Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives edited by Anders Berg-Sørensen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark). The publisher’s description follows.
As we enter the twenty-first century, the role of religion within civic society has become an issue of central concern across the world. The complex trends of secularism, multiculturalism and the rise of religiously motivated violence raise fundamental questions about the relationship between political institutions, civic culture and religious groups. Contesting Secularism represents a major intervention into this debate. Drawing together contributions from leading scholars from across the world it analyses how secularism functions as a political doctrine in different national contexts put under pressure by globalisation. In doing so it presents different models for the relationship between political institutions and religious groups, challenging the reader to be more aware of assumptions within their own cultural context, and raises alternative possibilities for the structure of democratic, multi-faith societies.
Through its inter-disciplinary and comparative approach, Contesting Secularism sets a new agenda for thinking about the place of religion in the public sphere of twenty-first century societies. It is essential reading for policy-makers, as well as for scholars and students in political science, law, sociology and religious studies.