SECULARISM: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

Last month, I posted a short video each day on my book Secularism: A Very Short Introduction, which you can find here for around £5 – both Kindle and paperback! 

For anyone who is interested in learning more about secularism – an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe – here is a collection of the videos covering everything from its definition, to the debates and controversies around secularism today.     

Chapter 1 is about the definition of secularism. Meanings abound but this book is about a political approach that combines (i) separation of religious institution from state (ii) max freedom of conscience (iii) no discrimination on religion.

 

Chapter 2 is about the development of secularism in the west and looks particularly at France and the United States. Although both secularisms are of a kind, they have their own distinct flavours.

 

Chapter 3 is about secularism outside of the west and internationally. It’s a mistake to think that secularism is just a western product exported globally. It has ancient roots in Asia and the constitution of modern India is a good example of distinctive secularism. Also: Turkey has *never* been a very secular state!

 

Chapter 4 summarises the case for secularism. Secularists say that their way of ordering the state is the best way to maximise: (i) freedom (ii) fairness (iii) peace.

 

Chapter 5 summarises the case against secularism! This is much more diverse than the case for: secularism has theocratic, Marxist, multiculturalist, conservative, nationalistic, and liberal opponents.

 

Chapter 6 dwells a little bit on the different conceptions of secularism: legal, philosophical, eastern, western, constitutional. The secularisms of statecraft and the secularism of campaigners – and more.

 

Chapter 7 deals with the debates and controversies around secularism today, from Modi’s India, to France and the US, to Erdogan’s Turkey. Secularism is undermined everywhere and is under threat.

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