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Are Secular Politics Possible?

Gregory C. Melleuish, Susanna G. Rizzo

Abstract


Contemporary political analysis makes a distinction between politics that are secular in nature and politics that are religiously based. This article questions whether there is such a thing as secular politics. Firstly, it examines the roots of the secular/religious dichotomy in Western thought and concludes that it is the creation of particular intellectual developments in the West. And then it argues that modern politics is best viewed in terms of a number of “sacred projects” that are generated out of the supposedly secular nature of the modern West. There can be no real politics without such projects, only administration. Even liberalism, which prides itself on its secular nature, is a form of sacred project. Hence the idea that the modern West represents a progressive and secular politics, as opposed to the more backward religious politics of other parts of the world, is a fallacy. There are only competing sacred projects.

 


Keywords


religion; secular; sacred project; politics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/BUDHI2016.20302