Published Volumes


Religion and its Others


 9: Communicating Religion and Atheism in Central and Eastern Europe (2020)

Test Cover Image of:  Communicating Religion and Atheism in Central and Eastern Europe

Ed. by Vorpahl, Jenny / Schuster, Dirk

This book brings together case studies dealing with historical as well as recent phenomena in former socialist nations, which testify the transfer of knowledge about religion and atheism. The material is connected on a semantic level by the presence of a historical watershed before and after socialism as well as on a theoretical level by the sociology of knowledge. With its focus on Central and Eastern Europe this volume is an important contribution to the research on nonreligion and secularity.

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8: Freigeistige Organisationen in Deutschland: Weltanschauliche Entwicklungen und strategische Spannungen nach der humanistischen Wende (2018)

Test Cover Image of:  Freigeistige Organisationen in Deutschland

Author: Schröder, Stefan

This study explores the historical evolution of free-thinking organizations in post-1945 Germany, especially after the humanist turn of the 1980s. It develops an organizational typology that uncovers evolving worldviews and strategic tensions within the free-thinking milieu and explores current patterns of perception in secularization theory.

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7: Die andere Seite des Islam: Säkularismus-Diskurs und muslimische Intellektuelle im modernen Ägypten (2016)

Test Cover Image of:  Die andere Seite des IslamAuthor: Kinitz, Daniel

Secularism (al-‘almaniyya) is an important yet highly divisive issue in the Arabic world. This study reconstructs, on the basis of recent Arabic publications and illustrative case studies, the social and religious problems attached to secularism as concept. Stressing the ambivalent authority of the Muslim intellectual from a sociological point of view, Kinitz’s study is an important contribution to understanding Islam in the globalized present.

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6: Organized Secularism in the United States: New Directions in Research (2017)

Test Cover Image of:  Organized Secularism in the United StatesEd. by: Cragun Ryan T. / Manning, Christel / Fazzino, Lori L

There has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of the US population that is not religious. However, there is, to date, very little research on the social movement that is organizing to serve the needs of and advocate for the nonreligious in the US.

This is a book about the rise and structure of organized secularism in the United States. By organized secularism we mean the efforts of nonreligious individuals to build institutions, networks, and ultimately a movement that serves their interests in a predominantly religious society. Researchers from various fields address questions such as: What secularist organizations exist? Who are the members of these organizations? What kinds of organizations do they create? What functions do these organizations provide for their members? How do the secularist organizations of today compare to those of the past? And what is their likely impact on the future of secularism?

For anyone trying to understand the rise of the nonreligious in the US, this book will provide valuable insights into organized efforts to normalize their worldview and advocate for their equal treatment in society.

See more information on De Gruyter’s site.


5: Social Imaginaries in a Globalizing World (2018)

Test Cover Image of:  Social Imaginaries in a Globalizing World

Ed. by: Alma, Hans / Vanheeswijck, Guido

How to study the contemporary dynamics between the religious, the nonreligious and the secular in a globalizing world? Obviously, their relationship is not an empirical datum, liable to the procedures of verification or of logical deduction. We are in need of alternative conceptual and methodological tools. This volume argues that the concept of ‘social imaginary’ as it is used by Charles Taylor, is of utmost importance as a methodological tool to understand these dynamics. The first section is dedicated to the conceptual clarification of Taylor’s notion of social imaginaries both through a historical study of their genealogy and through conceptual analysis. In the second section, we clarify the relation of ‘social imaginaries’ to the concept of (religious) worldviewing, understood as a process of truth seeking. Furthermore, we discuss the practical usefulness of the concept of social imaginaries for cultural scientists, by focusing on the concept of human rights as a secular social imaginary. In the third and final section, we relate Taylor’s view on the role of social imaginaries and the new paths it opens up for religious studies to other analyses of the secular-religious divide, as they nowadays mainly come to the fore in the debates on what is coined as the ‘post-secular.’

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3: Working with a Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor’s Master Narrative (2016)

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Ed. by Zemmin, Florian / Jager, Colin / Vanheeswijck, Guido

Charles Taylor’s monumental book A Secular Age has been extensively discussed, criticized, and worked on. This volume, by contrast, explores ways of working with Taylor’s book, especially its potentials and limits for individual research projects. Due to its wide reception, it has initiated a truly interdisciplinary object of study; with essays drawn from various research fields, this volume fosters substantial conversation across disciplines.

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2: Global Secularisms in a Post-Secular Age (2015)

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Ed. by Rectenwald, Michael / Almeida, Rochelle / Levine, George

This volume addresses the state of and prospects for secularism globally. Drawing from multiple fields, it brings together theoretical discussion and empirical case studies that illustrate “on-the-ground,” extant secularisms as they interact with various religious, political, social, and economic contexts. Its point of departure is the fact that secularism is plural and that various secularisms have developed in various contexts and from various traditions around the world.

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1: Multiple Secularities Beyond the West: Religion and Modernity in the Global Age (2015)

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Ed. by Burchardt, Marian / Wohlrab-Sahr, Monika / Middell, Matthias

Questions of secularity and modernity have become globalized, but most studies still focus on the West. This volume breaks new ground by comparatively exploring developments in five areas of the world, some of which were hitherto situated at the margins of international scholarly discussions: Africa, the Arab World, East Asia, South Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.

See more information on De Gruyter’s site.