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The Militant Strain: An Analysis of Anti-secular Discourse in Britain



Issues about the relationship between the religious and the secular have become increasingly prominent in recent years. In Britain, one of the central themes around this topic has been the emergence and propagation by leading religious and political figures of a concerted anti-secular discourse. This warns of the dangers posed by a militant, aggressive and intolerant form of secularism which is said to be driven by an ideological desire to force religion out of the public square, representing a clear threat to religious freedoms and social morality. This discourse has been shaped by a number of interrelated causal dynamics, but the religious and political influences involved differ substantially. Respectively, these relate to ongoing processes of secularisation and the increasing use of identity politics, set against the changing capacities of the British state and the electoral considerations of the Conservative Party.