Religion, or Secularization: Dialectical Method For the Literary Study of Secularisms
The Introduction disputes the idea of modern history as a progressive disenchantment of spiritual meaning from the world, and it does so in the context of the Humanities’ recent reassessment of the longstanding split between secular and religious knowledges. But while the Humanities have done much work criticizing secularization narratives—complicating previous accounts of the residual nature of religious belief, broadening our conceptions of the secular, and establishing an archive of bewitching and charmed Enlightenments—we have not yet analyzed at length the ways in which secularization works as a narrative. The Introduction introduces the terms of this analysis, not by describing the lingering enchantments of modernity—though certainly modern culture has its many enchanting facets—but rather by demonstrating that what has appeared to us as a secularization narrative would be more accurately described as the encoded history of a complex set of global and transatlantic processes of capital accumulation.
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