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Secularism: Conceptual Genealogy or Political Dilemma?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2010

John R. Bowen*
Washington University in St. Louis


If we step back and consider the words around which critiques and debates have crystallized in recent years, some have been relatively clear, while others have been constantly in need of disambiguation. Even during the most drawn-out of debates over “nationalism” or “revolution,” and despite the arguments over definitions and typologies, we had the sense that we were all talking about the same thing—that is why the debates could move along, adding new perspectives, disputing whether this or that author had placed enough stress on class position, or industrialization, or ideas.

Research Article
Copyright © Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 2010

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