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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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The Insubstantial and the Substantial Seculars

The Insubstantial and the Substantial Seculars

Theories of Secularity and Non-Religion

(p.49) 2 The Insubstantial and the Substantial Seculars
Recognizing the Non-religious

Lois Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the theoretical underpinnings of the notions of the secular as insubstantial and as substantial, as well as highlighting theoretical questions that preconceived notions of the secular have obscured. It draws out tensions between rival accounts of the secular as substantial and insubstantial that have rarely been articulated. It shows how problematic assumptions about the secular are rooted in established areas of theory—including secularization theory, rational choice theory, and postcolonial and critical accounts of the categories ‘religion’, ‘secular’, and ‘secularism’—but demonstrates also how these literatures provide resources for approaching secularity and non-religion in new research methodologies.

Keywords:   secularity, non-religion, secularism, secularization theory, rational choice theory, post-colonial theory, critical religion, methodology

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