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Interrogating Post-Secularism:Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Talal Asad

Mozumder, Mohammad Golam Nabi (2011) Interrogating Post-Secularism:Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Talal Asad. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study is a comparative analysis of the theories of secularism by three influential contemporary scholars: Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Talal Asad. Jürgen Habermas proposes a new concept—post-secularism—to address "the continued existence of religious communities in a continually secularizing environment." In this new context, Habermas suggests that religion and the secular have to learn from each other rather than subordinating religion to the authority of secular reason, like modern secularism. Yet Habermas insists that religion has to be "translated" by neutralizing its general dangerous components beforehand in order to contribute to the secular sphere. Broadly agreeing with Habermas, Charles Taylor argues that secularism is a way of managing the diversity of religious, non-religious, or anti-religious views without privileging one over another. However, for Taylor, since religious language is not understandable by all, a neutral "official" language has to be developed in a secular society. Whereas Talal Asad finds the essentialization of religion by modern secularists and continued by both Habermas and Taylor problematic; Asad instead suggests both religion and the secular are spatio-temporal constructions that have no universal essence. Therefore, for Asad, the increasing fear of a general religious revivalism, the rise of religious extremism, especially Islamic fundamentalism, could be addressed only by recognizing its construction in the particular socio-political circumstances instead of mystifying religion as essentially dangerous.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mozumder, Mohammad Golam
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBamyeh, Mohammedmab205@pitt.eduMAB205
Committee MemberHashimoto, Akikoahash@pitt.eduAHASH
Committee MemberMarkoff, Johnjm2@pitt.eduJM2
Date: 6 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2011
Approval Date: 6 June 2011
Submission Date: 7 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Islam.; Post-secularism; Religion; Secularism; Secularity
Other ID:, etd-04072011-144529
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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