Secularism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)

Secularism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) By Andrew Copson Cover Image
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Description


Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century
onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states - a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as
political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis.

Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics - from the US to India - and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious
states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this Very Short Introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world
history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time:
'blasphemy', 'apostasy', religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and freedom of thought in a divided world.

Previously published in hardback as Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and
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About the Author


Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, where he was previously Director of Education and Public Affairs; First Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union; and a former Director of the European Humanist Federation. In these capacities he is oneof the most experienced and prolific advocates of secularism, its study, and its implementation. For over a decade he has carried out a range of national and international practical secularist policy work and spoken internationally on secularism. He has been an associate of the Centre for Law andReligion and the University of Cardiff since 2008, and represented the secularist point of view on public or other bodies such as the Foreign Office's Advisory Panel on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Woolf Institute's Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life. He co-edited TheWiley-Blackwell Handbook on Humanism (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), with A C Grayling.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780198747222
ISBN-10: 0198747225
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: September 1st, 2019
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Very Short Introductions
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