The world is awash with myths and fake news. The gut consensus among university-educated, post-Enlightenment minds appears to be that we should do away with myths altogether. But what about the positive role that myths play in underwriting shared action? My book, Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World: Beyond Religious and Political Division, sheds light on this positive role and how groups are facilitating the inclusive sharing of myths in diverse spaces. The following is a short introduction to that book.
Co-organisers Justine Esta Ellis and Marek Sullivan report back on the day-symposium Senses of the Secular, held 21 May 2018 at Balliol College, Oxford.
Scholars working on premodern Japan tend to project ‘religion’ and ‘the secular’ upon the socio-cultural context they study. My contention is that there was no ‘religion’ in premodern Japan. Therefore, there was no ‘secularity’ in premodern Japan, either.
In this post, Uruguayan sociologist Néstor Da Costa describes the rates and forms of nonreligion in Uruguay and the ways they are shaped by the country’s historical relationship with religious institutions.
In this post Helge Årsheim questions what could – and should – the study of law and non-religion be about?
In this post Galen Watts questions whether the paradigm of secularization—exemplified by the recent work of Steve Bruce—is ultimately the most useful for studying spirituality. He contends that scholars might be better off eschewing essentialist definitions of “religion” and instead examining the various ways in which individuals operationalize the term “spirituality,” and for what purposes. Drawing from his qualitative research with Canadian millennials who self-identify as SBNR he argues that individuals who claim “spirituality” do so largely as a result of the religious imaginaries they hold. Thus investigating the nature of these imaginaries might prove far more fruitful than obsessing over whether or notspirituality is “real religion” or not.