Journal of Religious History
© Religious History Association
Edited By: Professor Carole M. Cusack and Christopher Hartney
Online ISSN: 1467-9809
Virtual Issue: 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.
What was the Religious Crisis of the 1960s?
Callum G. Brown
Indian Christians and National Identity, 1870-1947
Geoffrey A. Oddie
The Decline of Secularism in France