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Rethinking Religion and World Affairs$
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Timothy Samuel Shah, Alfred Stepan, and Monica Duffy Toft

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827978.001.0001

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How Should States Deal with Deep Religious Diversity?

How Should States Deal with Deep Religious Diversity?

Can Anything be Learned from the Indian Model of Secularism?

Chapter:
(p.73) 5 } How Should States Deal with Deep Religious Diversity?
Source:
Rethinking Religion and World Affairs
Author(s):

Rajeev Bhargava

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827978.003.0006

This chapter begins with a discussion of the crisis of individualistic, diversity-resistant secularism and why both these forms of western secularism have become part of the problem. It then turns to the Indian model of secularism, which meets the needs of deeply religiously diverse societies and also complies with principles of freedom and equality. In India, the existence of deep religious diversity has ensured a response not only to problems within religions but also between religions. Although not available as a doctrine or theory, such a conception was worked out jointly by Hindus and Muslims in the subcontinent, and can be found loosely in the best moments of inter-communal practice in India; and in the country's constitution appropriately interpreted. The chapter elaborates on two features of Indian secularism: principled distance and contextual secularism.

Keywords:   Western secularism, Indian secularism, freedom, equality, religion, constitution, Hindus, Muslims, principled distance, contextual secularism

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