A Secular Age beyond the West

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About The Book

This book traces religion and secularity in eleven countries not shaped by Western Christianity (Japan China Indonesia India Pakistan Iran Russia Turkey Israel Egypt and Morocco) and how they parallel or diverge from Charles Taylors grand narrative of the North Atlantic world A Secular Age (2007). In all eleven cases the state - enhanced by post-colonial and post-imperial legacies - highly determines religious experience by variably regulating religious belief practice property education and/or law. Taylors core condition of secularity - namely legal permissibility and social acceptance of open religious unbelief (Secularity III) - is largely absent in these societies. The areas affected by state regulation however differ greatly. In India Israel and most Muslim countries questions of religious law are central to state regulation. But it is religious education and organization in China and church property and public practice in Russia that bear the brunt. This book explains these differences using the concept of differential burdening.

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