Religion and the State A Comparative Sociology
Edited by Jack Barbalet, Adam Possamai and Bryan S. Turner
This volume addresses a central problem of contemporary states, namely how to manage the eruption of public religions. While the liberal framework formerly regarded religion as simply a matter of private practice and conscience, in modern states religion has often come to challenge the so-called Westphalian model of church-state relations, and has brought into question many liberal notions of secularism and tolerance. There is much discussion about post-secular society in which religion has to be taken seriously in public affairs. This collection of case studies – looking at Turkey, Singapore, India, China, Britain, Europe and the United States – explores a number of examples in which the state exercises some degree of management of religion, thereby bringing into question the traditional separation of religion and state. This study also attempts to refine the notion of secularization by examining this process in terms of political arrangements (church-state relations) and the role of religion in everyday life. Ultimately, this study reveals that there is no uniform or standard pattern of secularization in modern societies.