Recent Posts

October 20th, 2016

American Muslims between legal citizenship and public exclusion

posted by Mucahit Bilici

Image via Flickr user Quinn DombrowskiHate crimes against American Muslims have spiked to their highest levels since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. While some of the rise is due to recent terrorist attacks, it is also connected with the heated rhetoric of the presidential race. Recent studies have noted that Muslims surpass atheists as the most unpopular group in the United States.

Muslims who are citizens of the state continue to be seen and treated as aliens of the nation. In the current fraught moment, the constitution of Islam as a legitimate American religion remains a fragile process.

Read American Muslims between legal citizenship and public exclusion

October 13th, 2016

Building secularity via religious revival and the “patrimonialization” of religion

posted by Geneviève Zubrzycki

October 11th, 2016

A new “Christianist” secularism in Europe

posted by Rogers Brubaker

October 4th, 2016

Why do evangelicals vote for Trump?

posted by Philip S. Gorski

~ More recent posts ~

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October 4th, 2016

New Series | The politics of national identity

introduced by Ruth Braunstein
Image via Flickr user Quinn DombrowskiReligion is increasingly recognized as a defining feature of political life and as a constitutive element of individual and collective identities. The question is no longer whether religion matters, but how. The contributors to this discussion—which began as a session at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, co-sponsored by the sections on the Sociology of Religion and Culture—explore this question through the lens of political contestation over national identity.

These essays show how groups in Western Europe and the United States draw on religious and secular symbols when determining belonging.

Read the introduction from editorial board member Ruth Braunstein here.


September 21st, 2016

Calvin’s questions

posted by Constance M. Furey
By You You Xue (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsIn “Teaching Calvin in California,” a recent piece in The New York Times, Jonathan Sheehan argues that students in secular college classrooms can learn a lot from studying theology. The example he uses to make the case is predestination . . .

He tells students that when they critique Calvin’s ideas, they are “participating in the intellectual revolutions of the modern world.” This is a way of containing the challenge Calvin poses. So too is Sheehan’s emphasis on the historical lessons students can glean from reading about predestination: that people in the past think differently than we do today, and that we can understand why we think the way we do today by revisiting how we got from there to here. Both lessons are important. Yet turning to them, even while assuming that a gut-level sense of the greatness of God will affect believers differently than non-believers, means that Sheehan fails to fully explore the most challenging implications of Calvin’s theology.

Read Calvin’s questions

Featured discussion

Black Lives Matter

Religion, secularism, and Black Lives Matter

In this forum, scholars, activists, theologians, and social scientists look at the Black Lives Matter movement as it involves religion and secularism.

Featured publication


Race and Secularism in America

In this review of the volume Race and Secularism in America, edited by Vincent Lloyd and Jonathon Kahn, Grace Goudiss examines their central stance that secularism itself is primarily a (white, liberal) game of managing and excluding difference.

Featured essay

Conversation Statue Downtown Calgary Winter

A cautious rapprochement: Habermas and Taylor on translation and articulacy

In this essay, Alex Holznienkemper provides an overview of Habermas’s and Taylor’s respective notions of “translation” and “articulacy.”