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Recognizing the Non-religiousReimagining the Secular$
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Lois Lee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736844.001.0001

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Contradistinctions in Terms

Contradistinctions in Terms

Vocabulary for the Study of Secularity and Non-Religion

(p.21) 1 Contradistinctions in Terms
Recognizing the Non-religious

Lois Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter clarifies the core conceptual argument of the book, and presents the wider, relational vocabulary in which it is embedded. The vocabulary also provides one way of distinguishing and managing the multiple relationships with religion that terms like ‘secularity’, ‘non-religion’, ‘secularism’, ‘atheism’, and ‘non-theism’ are supposed to describe. This terminological work is useful in its own right, but it is also bound up with the theoretical problems that the book investigates, in which the insubstantial, purely analytical notions of secularity are confused or conflated with concrete non-religious forms. The relational vocabulary developed provides a solution to those problems, facilitating the ways of recognizing the non-religious and reimagining the secular that the book proposes.

Keywords:   terminology, vocabulary, secularity, non-religion, atheism, non-theism, secularism

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