Secularism and “post-secularism” studies have been big over the last few years (just click on the “Secularism” tag below for a small sampling), and it looks like they will continue to attract scholarly attention in 2013. Here’s an interesting looking entry in the field, Beyond Church and State: Religion, Politics, and Democracy (Cambridge University Press 2013), by Matthew Scherer (Union College, New York). The publisher’s description follows.
Secularism is often imagined in Thomas Jefferson’s words as “a wall of separation between Church & State.” Religion, Politics, and Democracy moves past that standard picture to argue that secularism is a process that reshapes both religion and politics. Borrowing a term from religious traditions, the book goes further to argue that this process should be understood as a process of conversion. Matthew Scherer studies Saint Augustine, John Locke, John Rawls, Henri Bergson, and Stanley Cavell to present a more accurate picture of what secularism is, what it does, and how it can be reimagined to be more conducive to genuine democracy.