The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

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Phil Zuckerman, John R. Shook
Oxford Handbooks
  • London, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , January
     760 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Paul Hedges forthcoming.


As recent headlines reveal, conflicts and debates around the world more and more frequently involve secularism. National borders and traditional religions can no longer keep people in tidy boxes anymore as political struggles, doctrinal divergences, and demographic trends sweep across regions and entire continents. Secularity is increasing in society, with a growing number of people in many regions having no religious affiliation or lacking interest in religion. Simultaneously, there is a resurgence of religious participation in the politics of many countries. How might these diverse phenomena be interrelated, and better understood? 

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism offers a wide-ranging examination of secularism on a global scale, bringing together an international collection of views from prominent experts in a variety of fields. This volume reflects the impressive level of academic attention now given to secularism across the humanities, social sciences, law and public policy, and international relations. Long-reigning theories about the pace of secularization, and ideal church-state relations, are here scrutinized by a new generation of scholars studying secularism with new questions, better data, and fresh perspectives.

This is the essential volume for comprehending the core issues and methodological approaches to the demographics and sociology of secularity; the history and variety of political secularisms; the comparison of constitutional secularisms across countries spanning from America to Asia; the key problems now convulsing church-state relations; the intersections of liberalism, multiculturalism, and religion; the latest psychological research into secular lives and lifestyles; and the naturalistic and humanistic worldviews available to nonreligious people. The Oxford Handbook of Secularism addresses a wide breadth of interrelated issues and problems from multi-disciplinary stances, covering scholarly territory not addressed previously.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Phil Zuckerman is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Program in Secular Studies at Pitzer College. He is co-author (with Frank Pasquale and Luke Galen) of The Nonreligious: Understanding Secular People and Societies (OUP 2016) and author of Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (OUP 2011).

John R. Shook is Director of Education and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Inquiry and Visiting Assistant Professor of Science Education and Research Associate in Philosophy at the University at Buffalo.

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