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Volume 73, issue 2 | Copyright

Special issue: Die Postsäkularitätsdebatte und die Geographie

Geogr. Helv., 73, 177-186, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-73-177-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Interface 07 May 2018

Interface | 07 May 2018

„Wir sind nie säkular gewesen“: Politische Theologie und die Geographien des Religiösen

Benedikt Korf Benedikt Korf
  • Geographisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. In these afterthoughts to a themed issue on the Geographies of Post-Secularity, I critically interrogate the analytical purchase of the terminology of post-secularism. I suggest that the concept of the post-secular is ill-suited to provide a vocabulary for multi-religious societies in the West as much as elsewhere. Instead, I suggest that the vocabulary of a descriptive political theology (Assmann) better helps us grasp the continuing negotiation of the dialectic relations between the secular and the religious. I illustrate this conceptual vocabulary for the study of religion and politics in the postcolonial world, first, in the political-normative debates on Indian secularism, and second, in the everyday struggles of religious actors in the violent politics of Sri Lanka's civil war, to then return to debates on (post-) secularity. I conclude that, indeed, we have never been secular – that the dialectic relations between the secular and the religious are bound to remain, and to become further complicated in increasingly multi-religious societies.

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I critically interrogate the usefulness of the terminology of „post-secularism“ to understand the entanglement of religion and politics in multi-religious societies in the West and elsewhere. I suggest that the vocabulary of a descriptive political theology is better suited to study these dynamics and apply this conceptual vocabulary to analyse political-normative debates on Indian secularism and the everyday struggles of religious actors in the violent politics of Sri Lanka's civil war.
I critically interrogate the usefulness of the terminology of „post-secularism“ to...
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