Is there a postsecular?

Khaled Furani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postsecularism, arriving after multiple transcending endeavors (such as postmodernism, poststructuralism, and postcolonialism), is commonly invoked to question the Enlightenment's handling of religion. It specifically questions ways in which secularism's imperatives have consigned religion to a space within presumably neutral forms of modern life in liberal-democratic polities. This article registers skepticism toward postsecularism. Whether as a mere locution, a category, or a conceptual formulation, the postsecular relies on forgetting aspects of the secular's malleable conceptual history and thus risks perpetuating entrapments it aspires to resolve. By setting aside the secular's hegemonic standing as religion's exterior in the nation-state complex, we can become alert to its conceptual beginnings as a marker of finitude. Recovering such sediments of the secular permits an analysis that moves away from a definitive postsecular toward "traditions of the secular."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


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