ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Untying the Knots

Secularism and Secularisation

Much has been written about secularism and secularisation, yet the precise modalities of their relationship have received little attention. The vague but generally accepted assumption seems to be that secularisation in Europe led to secularism, and secularism in non-western societies will lead to secularisation. Often the two terms are used synonymously. It seems particularly imperative, both for academic and political reasons, to think through the implications of these two terms and their relation. Does secularism inevitably lead to secularisation? Can secularisation happen without secularism? How precisely are secularism as state policy and secularisation as a societal process, related?

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