A Free Virtual Issue on the theme of Secularism

The interface between religion and secularism has in recent years generated both heat and light about the evolution of modern post-industrial, post-colonial societies. Local advocates of secularism have argued that neither Australia nor New Zealand are Christian nations and that secularism without religion forms the underlying ideology of the post-enlightenment state. Other scholars have been less convinced, pointing not just to high levels of historical commitment to a wide spectrum of religious beliefs in most western countries but also to the contemporary resurgence of religion internationally coupled with the collapse of secularist regimes in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.

Far from going away, religion appears to be asserting itself more powerfully than ever, both on the world stage and in post-colonial settler societies where, it was thought, religion was on a trajectory to oblivion. The challenge to secularism has also seen a rise in interest in the historical origins of the secular state and the religious subcultures who have flourished under the secular umbrella. It is at least arguable that state secularism has encouraged the proliferation and fragmentation of belief that characterizes the information age.

The 8th Biennial Conference of the Religious History Association aims to consider the question of the relationship between secularism and history. In conjunction with this, the editors of the Journal of Religious History are pleased to present this virtual issue on the theme of secularism. The virtual issue includes articles published in the journal from 1960 to the present day and we are confident that you will find this virtual issue interesting and informative.

Political Modernity and Secularization: Thoughts from the Japanese Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Kiri Paramore

What was the Religious Crisis of the 1960s?
Callum G. Brown

‘The Evil State of Tepidity': Mass-Going and Absenteeism in Nineteenth-Century Australian Ecclesiastical Discourse
Gavin Brown

‘To Prostitute Morality, Libel Religion, and Undermine Government': Blasphemy and the Strange Persistence of Providence in Britain since the Seventeenth Century
David Nash

The Savage Science: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, and the History of Religion
Michael Mack

Between a Hard Rock and Shifting Sands: Churches and the Issue of Homosexuality in New Zealand, 1960-86
Laurie Guy

Indian Christians and National Identity, 1870-1947
Geoffrey A. Oddie

Probabilistic Darwinism: Louis Agassiz vs. Asa Gray on Science, Religion, and Certainty
Paul Jerome Croce

The Religious Crisis of the 1960s: The Experience of the Australian Churches
David Hilliard

The Church Policy of the SED Regime in East Germany, 1949-89: The Fateful Dilemma
John A. Moses

The Decline of Secularism in France
Olive Wykes

 

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