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The postsecular in International Relations: an overview

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2013


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1 Asad, Talal, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003)Google Scholar; Taylor, Charles, A Secular Age (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2007)Google Scholar; Nandy, Ashis, The Return of the Sacred: The Language of Religion and Fear of Democracy in a Post-Secular World (Kathmandu: The Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture, 2007)Google Scholar; Milbank, John, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Casanova, José, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)Google Scholar; Connolly, William E., Why I Am Not A Secularist (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999)Google Scholar; Habermas, Jürgen and Ratzinger, Joseph, The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2007)Google Scholar; Habermas, Jürgen, Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008)Google Scholar; Habermas, Jürgen and et al., An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-secular Age (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011)Google Scholar; Scott, David and Hirschkind, Charles (eds), Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and his Interlocutors (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2006)Google Scholar; Asad, Talal, Brown, Wendy, Butler, Judith, and Mahmood, Sara, Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dallmayr, Fred R., Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices (New York: Routledge, 2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Butler, Judith, Habermas, Jürgen, Taylor, Charles, West, Cornel, The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, edited by Mendieta, Eduardo and VanAntwerpen, Jonathan, afterword by Calhoun, Craig (New York, Columbia University Press, 2011)Google Scholar; Butler, Judith, ‘Sexual Politics, Torture, and Secular Time’, The British Journal of Sociology, 59:1 (2008), pp. 123CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Calhoun, Craig, Juergensmeyer, Mark, and VanAntwerpen, Jonathan (eds), Rethinking Secularism (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011)Google Scholar; Gorski, Philip, Kim, David Kyuman, Torpey, John, and VanAntwerpen, Jonathan (eds), The Post-Secular in Question: Religion in Contemporary Society (New York: New York University Press, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also de Vries, Hent and Sullivan, Lawrence E. (eds), Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Abeysekara, Ananda, The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Futures (New York, Columbia University Press, 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 See Mavelli, Luca, Europe's Encounter with Islam: The Secular and the Postsecular (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012)Google Scholar; Barbato, Mariano, ‘Conceptions of the Self for Post-secular Emancipation: Towards a Pilgrim's Guide to Global Justice’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 39:2 (2010), pp. 547–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Barbato, Mariano and Kratochwil, Friedrich, ‘Towards a post-secular political order?’, European Political Science Review, 1:3 (2009), pp. 317–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 John D. Boy, ‘What we talk about when we talk about the postsecular’, The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere (3 March 2011), available at: {} accessed 20 February 2012.

4 Thomas, Scott M., ‘Taking Religious and Cultural Pluralism Seriously: The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Society’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 29:3 (2000), pp. 815–41, p. 819CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Mavelli, Luca, ‘Security and Secularization in International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations, 18:1 (2012), pp. 177–99, p. 178CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Taylor, Charles, ‘Modes of Secularism’, in Bhargava, Rajeev (ed.), Secularism and its Critics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 34Google Scholar.

7 Thomas, ‘Taking Religious and Cultural Pluralism Seriously’, p. 815.

8 Hatzopoulos, Pavlos and Petito, Fabio, ‘The Return from Exile: An Introduction’, in Petito, Fabio and Hatzopoulos, Pavlos (eds), Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 Bossy, John, Christianity in the West, 1400–1700 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985)Google Scholar.

10 Hatzopoulos and Petito, ‘The Return from Exile’, p. 1.

11 Mavelli, ‘Security and Secularization’, p. 182.

12 Cavanaugh, William T., ‘“A Fire Strong Enought to Consume the House”: The Wars of Religion and the Rise of the State’, Modern Theology, 11:4 (1995), pp. 397420, p. 398CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Cavanaugh, William T., The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 162CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

13 Cavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence, p. 4.

14 Ibid.

15 See, for instance, Lapid, Yosef, ‘The Third Debate: On the Prospects of International Theory in a Post-Positivist Era’, International Studies Quarterly, 33:3 (1989), pp. 235–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Smith, Steve, Booth, Ken, and Zalewski, Marysia (eds), International Theory: Positivism and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

16 Adrian Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity: Religion, Realism and the Revival of Grand Theory in IR’, in this Special Issue.

17 In this regard, a significant development for the discipline was the publication of the 2000 Millennium Special Issue on ‘Religion and IR’ (29:3).

18 See Petito and Hatzopoulos (eds), Religion in International Relations; Thomas, Scott, The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations: The Struggle for the Soul of the Twenty-first Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Michalis, Michael and Petito, Fabio (eds), Civilizational Dialogue and World Order: The Other Politics of Cultures, Religions and Civilizations in International Relations (New York: Palgrave, 2009)Google Scholar; Appleby, R. Scott, The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000)Google Scholar.

19 Kepel, Gilles, The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Modern World (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994)Google Scholar.

20 Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity’.

21 See Haynes, Jeffrey, Religion, Politics and International Relations: Selected Essays (London: Routledge, 2011)Google Scholar; Toft, Monica Duffy, Philpott, Daniel, and Shah, Timothy Samuel (eds), God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2011)Google Scholar; Snyder, Jack (ed.), Religion and International Relations Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011)Google Scholar; Sandal, Nukhet A. and James, Patrick, ‘Religion and International Relations Theory: Towards a Mutual Understanding’, European Journal of International Relations, 17:3 (2011), pp. 325CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Sheikh, Mona Kanwal, ‘How does Religion Matter? Pathways to Religion in International Relations’, Review of International Studies, 38:2 (2012), pp. 365–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

22 Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, ‘International Politics After Secularism’.

23 Cox, Robert W., ‘Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 10:2 (1981), pp. 126–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

24 Hurd, ‘International Politics After Secularism’.

25 Ibid.

26 Cox, ‘Social Forces’, p. 129.

27 Crawford, Neta C., ‘Jurgën Habermas’, in Edkins, Jenny and Vaughan-Williams, Nick (eds), in Critical Theorists and International Relations (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009), p. 196Google Scholar. See also Diez, Thomas and Steans, Jill, ‘A Useful Dialogue? Habermas and International Relations’, Review of International Studies, 31:1 (2005), pp. 127–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 Habermas, Between Naturalism and Religion, p. 211.

29 Ibid.

30 Habermas, Jürgen, ‘Religion in the Public Sphere’, European Journal of Philosophy, 14:1 (2006), pp. 125CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Habermas, Between Naturalism and Religion, p. 243.

31 Fred Dallmayr, ‘Post-Secularity and (Global) Politics: A Need For Radical Redefinition’.

32 Antonio Cerella, ‘Religion and Political Form: Carl Schmitt's Genealogy of Politics as Critique of Habermas's Post-secular Discourse’.

33 Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity’.

34 Luca Mavelli, ‘Postsecular Resistance, the Body, and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution’.

35 Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity’.

36 See Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008)Google Scholar; Wilson, Erin K., After Secularism: Rethinking Religion in Global Politics (New York: Palgrave, 2011)Google Scholar; Mavelli, Europe's Encounter with Islam; Mavelli ‘Security and Secularization’; Barbato, ‘Conceptions of the Self'; Barbato and Kratochwil, ‘Towards a Post-secular Political Order?’; Bilgin, Pinar, ‘The Securityness of Secularism? The Case of Turkey’, Security Dialogue, 39:6 (2008), pp. 593614CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Hallward, Maia Carter, ‘Situating the “Secular”: Negotiating the Boundary between Religion and Politics’, International Political Sociology, 2:1 (2008), pp 116CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Byrnes, Timothy A. and Katzenstein, Peter. J. (eds), Religion in an Expanding Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Odysseos, Louiza and Petito, Fabio (eds), The International Political Thought of Carl Schmitt: Terror, Liberal War and The Crisis of Global Order (London: Routledge, 2007)Google Scholar; Luoma-aho, Mika, ‘Political Theology, Anthropomorphism, and Person-hood of the State: The Religion of IR’, International Political Sociology, 3:3 (2009), pp. 293309CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Luoma-aho, Mika, God and International Relations: Christian Theology and World Politics (London: Continuum, 2012)Google Scholar.

37 Mustapha Kamal Pasha, ‘Islam and the Postsecular’ in this Special Issue.

38 Joseph A. Camilleri, ‘Postsecularist Discourse in an “Age of Transition”’.

39 Prosman, Henk-Jan, The Postmodern Condition and the Meaning of Secularity (Utrecht: Ars Disputandi, 2011), pp. 1418, available at: {}Google Scholar.

40 Kyrlezhev, Aleksandr, ‘The Postsecular Age: Religion and Culture Today’, Religion, State and Society, 36:1 (2008), pp. 2131, p. 24CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

41 Caputo, John D., On Religion (London: Routledge, 2001)Google Scholar.

42 Kyrlezhev, ‘The Postsecular Age’, p. 25.

43 Ibid., p. 26.

44 Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity’. On the idea that postmodern postsecularism further advances secularisation see Mavelli, Luca, ‘Beyond Secularism: Immanence and Transcendence in the Political Thought of William E. Connolly’, in Finlayson, Alan (ed.), Democracy and Pluralism: The Political Thought of William E. Connolly (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010)Google Scholar.

45 Johann P. Arnason, ‘The Imaginary Constitution of Modernity’, Revue Européenne des Sciences Sociales 27:86, ‘Pour une Philosophie Militante de la Démocratie (1989), pp. 323–37, p. 326.

46 Pasha, ‘Islam and the Postsecular’.

47 Dallmayr, ‘Post-Secularity and (Global) Politics’.

48 Cerella, ‘Religion and Political Form’.

49 Pabst, ‘The Secularism of Post-Secularity’.

50 Camilleri, ‘Postsecularist Discourse’.

51 Pasha, ‘Islam and the Postsecular’.

52 Mavelli, ‘Postsecular Resistance’.

53 Mariano Barbato, ‘Postsecular Revolution. Religion after the End of History’.

54 Pinar Bilgin, ‘Civilisation, Dialogue, Security: The Challenge of Post-Secularism and the Limits of Civilisational Dialogue’.

55 For an exploration of the crisis of secularity as one of authority, identity/solidarity, and knowledge see Mavelli, Europe's Encounter with Islam.

56 Foucault, Michel, ‘The Concern for Truth’, in Lotringer, Sylvèr (ed.), Foucault Live (Interviews 1981–1984) (New York: Semiotext(e), 1989), p. 462Google Scholar.

57 This formulation is indebted to Talal Asad, who in the opening page of his landmarking Formations of the Secular asks: ‘What might an anthropology of the secular look like?’