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The American University in a Postsecular AgeReligion and the Academy$
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Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195323443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323443.001.0001

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Religious Pluralism, the Study of Religion, and “Postsecular” Culture

Religious Pluralism, the Study of Religion, and “Postsecular” Culture

Chapter:
(p.187) 12 Religious Pluralism, the Study of Religion, and “Postsecular” Culture
Source:
The American University in a Postsecular Age
Author(s):

Amanda Porterfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323443.003.0014

Porterfield warns that “religious pluralism” often serves as a code word in higher education for an approach to the study of religion that idealizes the positive aspects of religion and understates the negative. She argues, instead, that the academic study of religion needs to be rigorously objective and appropriately critical. Worrying that talk about a postsecular turn in American culture may also encourage an advocatory and non‐critical approach to religion, she champions a genuinely “secular” pedagogy (but not secularist) which neither promotes nor denigrates religion.

Keywords:   postsecular, religion, religious pluralism, secular, study of religion

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