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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Secular States and Religious Diversity

Nation-states have seen the rise of religious pluralism within their borders, brought about by global migration and the challenge of radical religious movements. This book explores the meaning of secularism and religious freedom in these new contexts. The contributors chart the impact of globalization, the varying forms of secularism in Western states, and the different kinds of relations between states and religious institutions in the historical traditions and contemporary politics of Islamic, Indic, and Chinese societies. They also examine the limitations and dilemmas of governmental responses to unprecedented diversity, and grapple with the question of how secular states deal (and should deal) with such pluralism.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Globalization, Secular States, and Religious Diversity / Bruce J. Berman, Rajeev Bhargava, and André Laliberté

Part 1: Historical and Theoretical Approaches

1 Religious Pluralism as a Self-Evident Problem in the Context of Globalization / Peter Beyer

2 Secular Modernity, Religion, and the Politics of Knowledge / Bruce J. Berman

3 Can Secularism Be Rehabilitated? / Rajeev Bhargava

Part 2: Secularisms in the West

4 Between Secularism and Postsecularism: A Canadian Interregnum / Paul Bramadat and David Seljak

5 Tolerance and Accommodation as Vestiges of the Empire / Lori G. Beaman

6 In God We Trust? Secular States, Diversity, and the “Clash” within North America / Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Claude Couture

7 Ideologies, Institutions, and Laws: Religious Freedom in Secular States / Ahmet T. Kuru

Part 3: Secularisms beyond the West

8 State Intervention in the Reform of a “Religion of Rules”: An Analysis of the Views of B.R. Ambedkar / Rinku Lamba

9 Something Got Lost in Translation: From “Secularism” to “Separation between Politics and Religion” in Taiwan / André Laliberté

10 The Changing State Monopoly on Religion and Secular Views in Thailand / Manuel Litalien

11 State-Society Structures and the Frustration of Movements for Secular Reforms in Lebanon: Civil Marriage and Youth Activism / Elinor Bray-Collins

Conclusion: Secularism, Religious Diversity, and Democratic Politic / Anna Drake

Contributors; Index

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