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Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age

Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age

Edited by Michael Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, and Craig Calhoun

ISBN 9780674072411

Publication date: 03/04/2013

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“What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age?” This apparently simple question opens into the massive, provocative, and complex A Secular Age, where Charles Taylor positions secularism as a defining feature of the modern world, not the mere absence of religion, and casts light on the experience of transcendence that scientistic explanations of the world tend to neglect.

In Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, a prominent and varied group of scholars chart the conversations in which A Secular Age intervenes and address wider questions of secularism and secularity. The distinguished contributors include Robert Bellah, José Casanova, Nilüfer Göle, William E. Connolly, Wendy Brown, Simon During, Colin Jager, Jon Butler, Jonathan Sheehan, Akeel Bilgrami, John Milbank, and Saba Mahmood.

Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age succeeds in conveying to readers the complexity of secularism while serving as an invaluable guide to a landmark book.


  • Make[s] an important contribution to the resurgence of scholarly interest in religion and politics in the last decade… Given the complexity and length of Taylor’s work, Varieties of Secularism serves as a useful introduction to the book. The different uses to which the contributors put Taylor in examining a range of secularisms also speaks to the variety of ideas, mediations, and propositions at work in A Secular Age.

    —Holly Randell-Moon, Cultural Studies Review


  • Michael Warner is Seymour H. Knox Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. He is the editor of American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King and Fear of a Queer Planet. He also writes for The Nation, The Advocate, The Village Voice, and other periodicals.
  • Jonathan VanAntwerpen is Program Director for Religion and Theology at the Henry Luce Foundation. He was founding editor of The Immanent Frame, a Social Science Research Council digital forum on religion, secularism, and the public sphere.
  • Craig Calhoun is University Professor of Social Sciences at Arizona State University and was previously Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science and President of the SSRC. His books include The Roots of Radicalism and Nations Matter.

Book Details

  • 352 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press