In Books & Culture, David Martin offers a critical analysis of the context and motivations for recent discussions of the “post-secular” in social theory:
More recently the debate has taken on a seemingly new form with the popularity of the notion of post-secularity. One version hails a return of religion to the public square, even in Europe. The most recent expression of this is a book entitled God Is Back (2009) by Adrian Wooldridge and John Micklethwait, which might be paired with Steve Bruce’s God is Dead (2003), but the argument already has a long history. Gilles Kepel’s The Revenge of God appeared in 1994. José Casanova argued against the supposed privatization of religion in his influential Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), and this points up a major oddity of the current debate about post-secularity, given that religion has been a consistent presence in the public life of Europe throughout the postwar period. After all, the church was central to the emergence of Christian Democracy, and the diminution of its influence, say in Spain or Holland, is a continuing process that bears none of the marks of something called the post-secular.
Read more at Books & Culture.