Understanding the New Visibility of Religion

Understanding the New Visibility of Religion This article examines recent debates about the ‘return of religion’ to the European public sphere. It argues that there is widespread confusion between religion being more visible and religion having more impact on contemporary societies. The article asks what the 'new visibility of religion' means, how religion is contested and renegotiated in the public arena—or rather, in different publics—and what the effects of these struggles are on society, state and religion itself. It does so by providing an analytical overview five distinct approaches to the new visibility of religion: desecularization, de-privatization and post-secularity; the effects of ‘welfare utopianism’ on public religion; religion as a social problem; religion as expedient; and the mediatization or publicization of religion. The article concludes that what we are witnessing is a ‘secular return’ of religion, where religion is relevant for public discourse only by virtue of being either problematic or useful. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Europe Brill

Understanding the New Visibility of Religion

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1874-8910
eISSN
1874-8929
D.O.I.
10.1163/18748929-00704002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines recent debates about the ‘return of religion’ to the European public sphere. It argues that there is widespread confusion between religion being more visible and religion having more impact on contemporary societies. The article asks what the 'new visibility of religion' means, how religion is contested and renegotiated in the public arena—or rather, in different publics—and what the effects of these struggles are on society, state and religion itself. It does so by providing an analytical overview five distinct approaches to the new visibility of religion: desecularization, de-privatization and post-secularity; the effects of ‘welfare utopianism’ on public religion; religion as a social problem; religion as expedient; and the mediatization or publicization of religion. The article concludes that what we are witnessing is a ‘secular return’ of religion, where religion is relevant for public discourse only by virtue of being either problematic or useful.

Journal

Journal of Religion in EuropeBrill

Published: Dec 4, 2014

Keywords: desecularization; expediency; post-secularity; public religion; new visibility of religion; secularization; welfare

References

  • sssr Presidential Address: Public Religions and the Postsecular: Critical Reflections
  • Islam and Integration in German Media Discourse
  • The Post-Secular in Question
  • Notes on a Post-Secular Society
  • Introduction: Islam and Muslims in European News Media

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