Jose Casanova

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This chapter revisits the argument first presented in Public Religions in the Modern World in order to ascertain the extent to which the theoretical-analytical framework developed there needs to be critically revised and expanded to make it more applicable beyond Western Christian contexts. The central thesis of the book was that we were witnessing a process of “de-privatization” of religion as a relatively global trend. As an empirical claim, the thesis has been amply confirmed by subsequent developments practically everywhere. In a sense, the best confirmation of the thesis can actually be found in the heartland of secularization, that is, in Western European societies. Even though there is very little evidence of any kind of religious revival among the European population, if one excludes the significant influx of new immigrant religions, nonetheless religion has certainly returned as a contentious issue to the public sphere of most European societies.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Book Chapter

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