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Conclusions: The Continued Prevalence of the “Marker State”

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Conclusions: The Continued Prevalence of the “Marker State”

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Conclusions:#The#Continued#Prevalence#of#the#“Marker#State”#
Mirjam'Künkler'and'John'Madeley'
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From!Mirjam!Künkler,!John!Madeley!and!Shylashri!Shankar!(eds.):!A'Secular'Age'Beyond'
the'West.'Religion,' Law'and' the' State'in'Asia,'the'Middle'East'and'North'Africa.'With! an!
Afterword! by! Charles! Taylor.'Cambridge! University! Press,! Cambridge! Studies! in! Social!
Theory,!Religion!and!Politics,!2017.!
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At!the!outset!of!A'Secular'Age,!Charles!Taylor!makes!the!arresting!claim!that!“the!judgment!
of! secularity”! applies! in! particular! to! the! countries! of! the! North! Atlantic! world,! especially!
when! they! are! compared! with! “almost! all! other! contemporary! societies! (e.g.,! Islamic!
countries,! India,! Africa),! on! the! one! hand;! and! with! the! rest! of! human! history,! Atlantic! or!
otherwise,!on! the!other”!(Taylor!2007:!1).! It!has!been!the!purpose!of!this!volume!to! assess!
the!first!of!these!comparative!claims!by!examining!the!incidence!or!absence!of!secularity!in!a!
sample!of! twentieth-century! societies! beyond!Taylor’s! North! Atlantic! world.!As! Phil! Gorski!
points! out! in! Chapter! 2,! Taylor’s! principal! interest! was! in! explicating! and! interpreting!
secularity!(particularly!Secularity!III!following!the!shift!in!the!“conditions!of!belief”!toward!a!
situation!where!religion!is! just! one! option!among!many,!“and!frequently!not!the!easiest!to!
embrace”)! as! the! product! of! a! series! of! unique! developments! in! Latin! Christendom.1! Yet!
Taylor! concedes! that! “secularity! extends! also! partially,! and! in! different! ways,! beyond! this!
world”!(ibid).!The!use! of! the! verb!“extend”!raises!the!question! of! whether! what! he!had!in!
mind! was! evidence! of! Western-originated! secularity! that! could! be! observed! beyond! the!
margins!of!the!West,!or,!say,!the!possible!existence!of!forms!and!founts!of!alternative!types!
of! secularity! traceable! to! other,! non-Western! origins.! The! answer! to! the! question! is! left!
tantalizingly! open! by! his! subsequent! observation! that! “secularization! and! secularity! are!
phenomena!which! exist! today! well!beyond! the! boundaries! of![the! West]! …! Secularity,!like!
other!features!of!‘modernity’!–!political!structures,!democratic!forms,!uses!of!media,!to!cite!
a!few!other!examples!–!in!fact!find![sic]!rather!different!expression,!and!develop![sic]!under!
the!pressure!of!different!demands!and!aspirations!in!different!civilisations”!(ibid:!21).!
Each!of!the!case!studies!in!this!volume!has!attempted!to!identify!the!extent!to!which!
secularity!–!in!one!or!more!of!Taylor’s!three!modes!or,!indeed,!some!other!–!has!existed!or!
developed!in! societies!shaped!by!religious!traditions!other!than!Western!Christianity.!All!of!
the!cases!bear! the! imprint,! some! deeper!than!others,!of! what! Taylor! calls!Secularity!I!(the!
emancipation!of!law,!the!state,!the!economy!and!other!spheres!from!the!influence!of!religious!
norms).2!Even!in!the!East!Asian!cases!of!China!and!Japan,!which!evince!civilizational!patterns!
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1!Of!Taylor’s!three!notions!of!secularity,!the!first!two!are!largely!congruent!with!Casanova’s!(1994).!Secularity!I!
refers! to! the! emancipation! of! the! spheres! of! th e! state,! economy,! bureaucracy,! law,! political! authority,! and!
related!areas!from!the!influence!of!religious!norms!and!authority.!Secularity!II!captures!the!decline!in!religious!
beliefs!and!practice!on!the!individual!level.!While!Casanova’s!third!notion!referred!to!the!privatization!of!religion!
(a! thesis! he! sought! to! empirically! debunk! in! his! 1994! book),! Taylor’s! notion! of! Secularity! III! captures! the!
phenomenon!that!belief!(and!religious!practice)!has!become!an!option!among!many!in!a!given!society!and!that!
individuals!see!a!need!to!justify!belief!more!than!unbelief.!For! further! discussion! of! Taylor’s! three! notions! of!
secularity,!see!the!Introduction.!
2!Although!Taylor’!notions!of! Secularity!I!and! II!appear!to! be!largely!congruent!with!Casanova’s! (1994),!Philip!
Gorski! suggests! in! Chapter! 2!that! Taylor! seems! at! times! to! collapse! Casanova’s! first! and! third! notions,! i.e.!
emancipation!and! privatization.!Thus,! Taylor!refers!in!short! hand!to!Secularity!I!as!the!“evacuation!of!religion!
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established!over! millennia! before!their!modern! encounter! with!the! West,! the!necessity!of!
responding!to!the!challenge!of!Western! secularity! has! been! unavoidable.! Each! chapter! has!
also!identified!features!relevant!to!secularity!and!religiosity!that!mark!the!particularity!of!the!
individual! cases! as! well! as! a! shared! “non-Western”! alterity,! evident,! for! example,! in! the!
Russian!and!Turkish!cases!despite!their!strong!and!sustained!connections!and!involvements!
with!the! “North!Atlantic!world”!over!long!periods.!In!other!words,!the!case!studies!suggest!
that!unique!combinations! of!different!intensities!of!Secularities!I,! II,!and!III!have!developed!
“under! the! pressure! of! different! demands! and! aspirations”! which! generated! distinctive!
patterns!of!path!dependency.!As!is!laid!out!in!more!detail!in!sections!1!and!2!of!this!chapter,!
all! the! cases! examined! show! some! marks! of! Secularity! I! and! most! feature! low! levels! of!
Secularity!II!(with!the!possible!exception!of!Japan!and!China),!while!few!feature!Secularity!III,!
where!religious!belonging!(and!belief!and!practice)!is!merely!optional.!That!only!a!few!feature!
Secularity!III!is!to!a!large!extent,!the!case!studies!suggest,!due!to!the!fact!that!legal!and!cultural!
conditions! so! often! require! identification! with! particular! religious! traditions! and! that! the!
option!to!not!believe!can!therefore!hardly!arise!as!an!option!widely!accepted!in!society.!What!
accounts!for!the!unique!combinations!of!Secularities!I,!II,!and!III,!the!similarities!and!contrasts!
across!the!cases,!is!the!focus!of!this!concluding!chapter.!
Before!delving!into!the!discussion!of!why!Secularity!III!is!rare!in! the!cases!studied!in!
this!volume,!it! is!worth!re-visiting!how!the! approach!taken!here!relates!to!and! differs!from!
Taylor’s.!Firstly,!of!course,!the!focus!of!this!volume!has!been!on!societies!beyond!the!West,!
specifically!those!where!Latin!Christendom!has!not!been!a!dominant!tradition.!Latin!American!
and!Sub-Saharan!African!cases!have! not! been! included! on! the!grounds!that!religious!life!in!
many! of! these! constitutes! extensions! of! Latin! Christendom! (albeit! under! very! distinctive!
cultural!conditions).3!Instead!the!focus!has!been!on!societies!where!Judaism,!Islam,!Hinduism,!
Buddhism,!Chinese!religions!and!Eastern!Orthodoxy!have!been!dominant!religious!traditions.!
Given! the! implicit! comparison! this! particular! focus! involves,! Taylor’s! claim! for! the! unique!
particularity!of!Western!secularity!comes!unavoidably!into!focus.!Secondly,!as!the!conditions!
for!Secularities!I,!II,!and!III!in!the!case!studies!mostly!obtained!in!the!nineteenth!and!twentieth!
centuries,!the!chapters!in!this!volume!typically!encompass!a!much!shorter!time!frame!than!
Taylor’s!millennium-long! timespan.! Thirdly,! while!the!case! studies! take!their!starting! point!
from!his! A' Secular'Age!(and!are!also! informed!by!Taylor’s!other!writings!on! secularism!and!
sources! of! the! self),4! the! volume! focuses! on! Secularity! I! (the! ‘emancipation’! of! law,! the!
administration,!the! economy! and! related!spheres! from! the! influence!of! religious! authority!
and!norms)!much!more!closely!than!does!A'Secular'Age.!The!role!of!the!state!in!all!the!cases!
examined! turns! out! to! be! central,! whether! destructively! under! the! communist! regimes! in!
Russia!and!China,!or!constructively!as!in!Turkey!and!Iran!where!one!could!speak!of!a!‘statist!
production’!of!religion.!!In!fact,!the!first!major!conclusion!of!this!volume!would!appear!to!be!
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from! public! life,”! which! appears! to! indicate! a! movement! toward! privatization,! when! what! he! seems! to!
understand!as!Secularity!I’s!core!is!emancipation!(of!the!state,!etc.,!from!religious!influence).!Casanova!has!of!
course!persuasively!argued!that!privatization!should!be!differentiated!from!emancipation!(Secularity!I)!and!that!
empirically!privatization!is!not!a!dominant!historical!development!in!the!twentieth!century,!unlike!emancipation.!
3!There!is!no!doubt!however!that!it!would!have!been! important!for! comparative!purposes! to!include! cases!of!
Sub-Saharan!Muslim-majority!societies.!We!hope!that!future!endeavors!can!fill!this!lacuna.!
4!It!is!worth!reminding!readers!in!this!context!of!Taylor’s!notion!of! secularism,!which!differs!sharply!from!his!
notion! of! secularity,! as! well! as! from! notions! of! secularism! prevalent! in! other! literature.! Taylor! proposes! a!
reconceptualization!of!the!concept!of!“secularism,”!by!suggesting!that!it!should!be!understood!as!a!good-faith!
attempt!on!part!of!the!state!to!address!challenges!of!diversity!while!maximizing!three!goods:!equality,!liberty,!
and!fraternity!among!its!citizens.!For!further!reading,!see!Taylor!2010!and!2012.!
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that!across!diverse!regime!types!and!varying!official!labels,!ranging!from!“laic!Turkey”!to!the!
“Jewish! homeland! of! Israel,”! from! the! “Islamic! Republic! of! Iran”! to! “pancasila! Indonesia,”!
from! “secular! India”! to! “communist! China,”! the! one! overwhelming! factor! in! qualifying,!
shaping,! molding! conditions! of! belief! has! been! the! modern! state.! In! none! of! the! cases!
examined! (with! post-war! Japan! as! a! possibly! limiting! case)! has! it! been! possible! to! assess!
conditions! of! belief! without! recognizing! how! closely! the! availability! of! faith! and! non-faith!
options!are!shaped!by!state!policies.!!
Fourthly,! there! is! the! issue! of! the! use! of! the! term! “religion”! itself.! Taylor! defines!
“religion”! in! terms! of! “transcendence”! (Taylor! 2007:! 20),! which! involves! belief! in! a! good!
higher!than!human!flourishing,!in!a!power!higher!than!secular!authority,!and!a!view!of!life!as!
going!beyond!“this!life.”5!As!laid!out!in!the!introduction!to!this!volume!and!in!more!detail!in!
Künkler!and!Madeley!(2015),!his!decision!to!sidestep!the!debates!around!rival!conceptions!of!
religion,!while!understandable!and!defensible!in!the!context!of!the!exclusively!Western!focus!
of! A' Secular' Age,! cannot! be! finessed! in! the! same! way! when! it! comes! to! identifying! and!
explaining! the! possible! incidence! of! secularity! in! non-Western! contexts.! One! ostensible!
reason!why!questions!of!definition!could!be!set!aside!in!the!Western!context!is!that!the!very!
category! “religion”! can! be! seen,! as! scholars! from! Cantwell! Smith! to! Talal! Asad! have! long!
argued,!as!a!distinctively!Western!concept.!Despite!the!fact!that!–!or!perhaps!because!–!the!
concept!was!heavily! informed! by! Western!perceptions!of! colonial! subjects,! it!is!one! which!
cannot! readily! be! used! outside! the! contexts! of! Latin! Christendom! without! careful!
qualification.! Gregory! Starrett! identifies! among! the! first! Western! students! of! comparative!
religion! in! the! nineteenth! century! the! setting! of! a! distinctive! “Protestant! tendency! to! see!
religion! primarily! as! a! system! of! beliefs,! doctrines,! and! dogmas”! (Starrett! 1999:! 14950).!
Alternative! conceptions! which! privilege! traditional! practices! as! key! defining! features! of!
religion!implicitly!challenge!such!restrictively!Latin!Christian!notions!of!secularity!just!as!much!
as!of! religion! itself!(Riesebrodt!2003:! 95109;! Turner!1991;! Asad! 2003:!192).!By! extension!
they!maybe!also!relativize!Taylor’s!key!notions!of!the!different!forms!of!secularity,!which!are!
necessarily!parasitic!on!an!understanding!of!religion!as!defined!in!Western!Christianity.6!In!
several! cases,! the! engagement! with! the! Western! Christian! concept! of! religion! has,! in! the!
twentieth!century! if! not!before,! been! necessitated!by! legal! requirements! to! translate!into!
local! languages! and! legal! practice! various! international! obligations! –! for! example,! the!
commitments! to! respect! the! terms! of! the! Universal! Declaration! of! Human! Rights!
guaranteeing!religious!freedom.!As!Casanova!comments,!maybe!“one!of!the!most!important!
global!trends!is!the!globalization!of!the!category!of!‘religion’!itself!and!the!binary!classification!
of!‘religious/secular,’!that!it! entails”! (Casanova! 2010:! 62).!But!as!he!also!points!out,!“when!
people!around!the!world!use!the!same!category!of!religion,!they!actually!mean!very!different!
things.!The! actual!concrete!meaning!of! whatever!people!denominate!as!‘religious’!can!only!
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5!For!a!critique!of!this!choice,!see!Hans!Joas,!who!argues!that!it!would!have!served!Taylor’s!arguments!better!to!
define!religion!in!reference!to!the!sacred!(following!Durkheim)!and!to!then!differentiate!between!immanent!and!
transcendent!forms!of!the!localization!of!the!sacred!(2009:!294/95).!
6!Taylor!indicates!early!on!that!he!is!aware!of!the!danger!of!reducing!lived!religion!to!matters!of!belief!(Taylor!
2007:!45),!but!from!A'Secular'Age’s!first!section,!“The!Bulwarks!of!Belief,”!to!the!later!sustained!discussion!of!
the!conditions!of!belief,!his!study!is!overwhelmingly!concentrated!on!this!aspect!of!religion,!albeit!on!the!basis!
of!an! explicitly!extended!notion!of! what! belief!entails.!“Belief! is!less!a! cognitivist!stance!than!a! deep,! almost!
unconscious!enmeshment!in!a!thick!texture!of!Christian!norms,!values!and!practices.!So!extensive!is!the!force!
wielded!by!these!norms!that!even!atheists!and!nonbelievers!cannot!escape!it”!(ibid.,!284).!
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be!elucidated!in!the!context!of!their!particular!discursive!practices.”7!A!full!eventual!study!of!
comparative!secularity!or!secularities!across!the!world!will!require!an!intensive!and!extensive!
exercise!in!comparative!Begriffsgeschichte!of!the!concept!of!religion,!something!which,!alas,!
cannot!be!undertaken!here.!
!! And! finally,! while! Taylor’s! rich! intellectual! history! of! Latin! Christendom! from! late!
antiquity! to! the! present! day! was! focused! on! explicating! the! meaning! of! secularity! as! an!
emergent! broader! cultural! condition,! as! social! scientists,! the! authors! of! this! volume! have!
concentrated!more!on!identifying!and!explaining!different!patterns!of!institutional!and!social!
change!as! responses! to! contention! about!questions! of!religion.! To! this!effect,! the!authors!
complement! Taylor’s! conceptual! lexicon! that! mostly! conveys! allusive! or! hermeneutical!
meaning! (‘the! buffered! self’,! ‘the! age! of! authenticity’,! ‘the! disenchanted! world’! etc.)! with!
sociological!concepts!of!societal!conflict,!differentiation,!and!path!dependency.!!
In! seeking! to! explain! the! incidence! or! absence! of! Secularity! III! in! the! societies!
examined,!the! present! volume!provides! an! opportunity!to!tease! out! and!test! some! of!the!
comparative! implications! of! Taylor’s! treatise,! for! example,! as! far! as! possible! causal!
connections!between!the!three!Secularities!are!concerned.!Having!observed!elliptically!that!
Secularity! III! was! “closely! related! to! the! second! and! not! without! connection! to! the! first,”!
Taylor!writes!
An! age! or! society! would! then! be! secular! or! not,! in! virtue! of! the! conditions! of!
experience!of!and!search!for!the!spiritual.!Obviously,!where!it!stood!in!this![third]!
dimension!would!have!a! lot! to! do!with!how!secular!it! was! in! the!second!sense,!
which! turns! on! levels! of! belief! and! practice,! but! there! is! no! simple! correlation!
between! the! two,! as! the! case! of! the! US! shows.! As! for! the! first! sense,! which!
concerns!public!space,!this!may!be!uncorrelated!with!both!the!others!…!But!I!will!
maintain!that!in!fact,!in!the!Western!case,!the!shift!to!public!secularity!has!been!
part!of!what!helped!to!bring!on!a!secular!age!in!my!third!sense.!(Taylor!2007:!34)!
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This!third!sense,!Secularity!III,!is!characterised!by!exclusive!humanism!(which!Taylor!considers!
to!have!been!the!crucial!transforming!move!in!the!emergence!of!Secularity!III!(Taylor!2007:!
19)),! the! availability! of! meaningful! options! between! belief! and! unbelief! (a! belief! in! self-
sufficiency! of! human! agency! and! a! widening! of! the! range! of! possible! options),! and! the!
availability!of!these!meaningful! options! to! a!large!majority!of!people,!not!just!the!elites.! In!
Taylor’s!view,!then,!Secularity!I!(“the!shift!to!public!secularity”)!in!the!West!has!had!a!causal!
influence!on!the!development!of!Secularity!III.!!At!the!same!time,!the!seeds!for!the!immanent!
frame!are!sown!in!the!cultural!and!the!spiritual!landscape! before! the! onset! of! Secularity! I,!
institutionally!manifested!first! in!the!French!Revolution!(2007:!49),! and! the!bulk!of!Taylor’s!
narrative! concentrates! on! illustrating! how! this! immanent! frame! came! about.! There! are!
several!stages! to!its! construction,! starting!with! the!development! of! the! modern! theory!of!
society!(by!scholars!like!Grotius)!as!constituted!by!individuals!and!based!on!norms!of!mutual!
benefit! (“the! great! disembedding”,! 2007:! 155-158).! Next! comes! the! construction! of!
providential! deism! in! the! 1700s,! according! to! which! God! designed! the! world! through!
impersonal!laws!that!can!be!managed!by!objective!human!reason!(!2007:!221-95).!This!in!turn!
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7!Ibid.!This!touches!on!the!much-debated!question!of!whether!Confucianism!as!the!dominant!tradition!in!China!
should!be!thought!of!as!a!religion!when!conventional!wisdom!suggests!that!it!is!an!ethic!and!a!philosophy!rather!
than! a! religion.! As! Zhe!Yi!suggests!in! chapter! 3,! in! a!sociological!sense! Confucianism! should! be!treated!as! a!
religion!(with!its!transcendental!discourse,!rituals,!symbols,!sacred!matters,!and!cosmological!representations).!
See!in!this!connection!also!Billioud!and!Thoraval!(2015),!and!Goossaert!and!Palmer!(2010).!
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facilitates! the! “nova! effect”! in! which! subjective! narratives! dominate! in! art,! science,! and!
politics! (2007:! 352-353).! These! complex! transformations! in! how! the! world,! and! the!
individual’s!place! in! it,!are! conceived,! in! turn! pave!the! way! towards!accepting! the! type!of!
political! order! which! the! French! Revolution! then! establishes:! “the! disciplined! remaking! of!
behaviour! and! social! forms! through! objectification! and! an! instrumental! stance…in! turn!
helped!give!force!to!a!conception!of!society!as!founded!on!a!covenant,!and!hence!ultimately!
constituted!by!the!decision!of!free!individuals”!(2007:!155).!In!other!words,!while!the!shift!to!
Secularity!I!(which!operates!in!the!political!and!legal!spheres)!helped!bring!on!a!secular!age!
(which!is!first!and!foremost! a! cultural! condition),! the!seeds!for!this!cultural!condition!were!
sown! in! the! philosophical! transformation! processes! of! the! 1600s! and! 1700s! (which!
themselves!were!strongly!shaped!by!the!political!experience!of!the!confessional!wars).!
The!relevance!of!the!correlation!between!Secularity!I!and! III! to! the! cases! treated! in!
this! volume! is! illustrated! by! Taylor’s! comment! that,! by! comparison! with! the! USA! as! an!
instance!of!Secularity!III,!clear!contrast!cases!would!be!“the!majority!of!Muslim!societies,!or!
the!milieux!in!which!the!vast!majority!of!Indians!live.”!And!in!that!connection!he!ponders,!“it!
seems! to! me! that! there! are! big! differences! between! societies! in! what! it! is! to! believe,!
stemming!in!part!from!the!fact!that!belief!is!an!option!and!in!some!sense!an!embattled!option!
in!the!Christian!(or!‘post-Christian’)!society,!and!not!(or!not!yet)!in!the!Muslim!ones”!(Taylor!
2007:!3).!Here,!as!elsewhere,!the!relevance!of! Taylor’s! thesis! both! to! comparative! analysis!
and!to!understanding!the!nature!of!causal!and!other!connections!is!evident.!As!will!be!seen!
in! sections! 1! and! 2! below,! empirically! Secularity! I! preceded! such! evidences! as! exist! of!
Secularities!II!and!III!in!all!our!case!studies!from!Morocco!to!India,!Indonesia,!and!Japan,!and!
in!most!cases,!institutions!of!a!secular!public!order!had!been!established!by!elites!who!were!
themselves!secular!in!the!sense!of!Secularity!II!and!in!many!cases!also!Secularity!III.!As!Nikkie!
Keddie! put! it,! “there! is! no! doubt! but! that! non-Western! modernizing! governments! greatly!
preceded! their! populations! in! secularist! beliefs! and! practices”! (Keddie! 1997:! 27).! Later!
developments!in!the!1970s!and! 1980s! in! many! cases!unsettled!these!secular!public!orders!
(most!of!which!had!been!established!in!the!1940s!and!1950s),!and!thereby!also!established!
new!obstacles!to!a!consolidation!of!Secularity!I!and!emergence!of!Secularity!III.!!
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The!discussion!which!follows!is!organized!in!three!sections.!In!the!first!section,!a!brief!
summary!is!provided!of!what!evidence!of!Secularities!I!and!III!contributors!have!observed!and!
the! question! is! broached! whether! and! how! Secularities! I! and! III! are! related.! Does! one!
necessitate!the!other?!Does!high!Secularity!I!(institutional!differentiation)!correlate!with!high!
Secularity!III!(the!cultural!condition!where!religious!belief!is!but!one!option!among!many)?!If!
the!construction!of!the!immanent!frame!is!what!made!Secularity!I!and!Secularity!III!possible!
in! the! West,! how! do! the! two! relate! in! the! cases! studied! here?! In! the! second! section,! the!
question!is!addressed!how!the!types!of!conflicts!involving!religion!and!the!modern!state!were,!
at! least! provisionally,! settled! in! the! twentieth! century,! what! critical! junctures! can! be!
identified,!and!what!path!dependencies!were!created!at!these!junctures.!The!third! section!
discusses!and!evaluates!three!suggestive!approaches!to!accounting!for!multiple!secularities!
outside!the!West!(derived!from!the!work!of!Nikkie!Keddie,!Jay!Demerath,!Monika!Wohlrab-
Sahr!and!Marian!Burchardt!respectively)!and!assesses!how!they!complement!or!compete!with!
the!approach!of!the!present!volume.!Finally,!the!general!issues!thrown!up!by!this!particular!
collection!of!studies,!including!questions!for!further!research,!are!considered.!
To!foreshadow!an!overall!conclusion,!one!of!the!book’s!key!findings!is!that!in!all!the!
cases,!the!state!plays!a!major!role!in!shaping,!and!in!some!instances!determining,!the!limits!
!
!
6!
of!religious!experience,!by!variably!regulating!religious!belief,!practice,!property,!education,!
and/or!law.!What!Taylor!considers!to!be!the!key!condition!of!secularity!in!the!West!–!namely,!
the!legal!permissibility!and!socio-cultural!acceptability!of!open!religious!non-belief!(Secularity!
III)! –! is! absent! in! most! of! the! cases! examined.! Indeed,! in! most! cases! full! citizenship! is!
conditional!on!religious!belonging,!and!even!where!open!unbelief!is!legally!tolerated,!as!in!
Japan,!it!is!not!socially!respectable!among!most!social!strata.!Post-colonial!and!post-imperial!
legacies!have!made!for!a!strong!involvement!of!the!state!in!matters!of!religion,!although!the!
areas!directly! affected! by!state! regulation! differ!greatly!between! the! cases.!While! in! most!
Muslim! countries,! India,! and! Israel! questions! of! religious! law! have! been! central! to! state!
regulation,!in!China!it!first! concerned!questions!of!education!(later!also!property!rights!and!
political! mobilization),! while! in! Soviet! Russia! church! property! and! public! practice! were!
targeted.!These!differences!can!best!be!captured,!it!is!suggested,!by!the!concept!of!the!state’s!
“differential!burdening”!of!religion.!
!
Taylor’s#Three#Secularities#in#the#Case#Studies#
!
To!formally!capture!the!different!dimensions!of!secularity! is! notoriously! difficult,! and! even!
more!so! across! a!range! of! cases!with! such! different!religious! and! cultural!backgrounds.! In!
order! to! provide! some! comparative! overview,! the! Appendix! to! this! volume! presents! an!
attempt! to! operationalize! Taylor’s! three! secularities! in! terms! of! available! quantitative!
measures!and!to!compare!how!various!indices!relate!to!levels!of!Secularity!I,!II!and!III!in!the!
cases!included!in!the!volume.!To!summarize!here,!in!terms!of!Secularity!I,!Japan!is!seen!to!be!
highly!secular,!while!Iran!and!Pakistan!are!judged!both!by!the!data!and!the!respective!chapter!
authors!to!be!largely!unsecular,!with!the!other!countries!included!falling!in!between!these!
extremes.!Secularity!II! is!viewed!as!strongly!evident!in! China! and!quite!high!in!Japan,!while!
the!citizens!of!Morocco,!Pakistan!and!Egypt!appear!as!highly!religious.!Israel,!China!and!Russia!
are!found!to!exhibit!moderate!levels!of!Secularity!III!among!certain!social!groups!and!strata,!
while!Pakistan!is!shown!to!offer!hardly!any!space!for!a!socially!or!culturally!acceptable!option!
of!not-believing!(compare!Tables!16.1!and!16.2).!The!quantitative!overview!suggests!that!the!
phenomena!of!Secularity!I!and!II!are!in!themselves!multi-dimensional!and!best!represented!
by! not! one! but! multiple! indices! (Figures! 16.1.! and! 16.2),! while! the! available! indices! on!
Secularity!III!are!as!of!yet!still!highly!unsatisfactory.!!!
! A!complex!picture!emerges!when!attention!turns!to!a!comparative!assessment!of!the!
qualitative!evidence!of!the!sort! presented! in! the! case! studies.!In!this!section!the!questions!
are!examined! a)!how!Secularity!I!and!III!are!related,!both!de!jure!and!de!facto,!b)!what!the!
relationship!is!between!observed!levels!of!Secularity!I!and!III!on!the!one!hand!and!regime!type!
on!the!other,!and!c)!what!accounts!for!the!notably!diverse!constellations!of!Secularity!I!and!
III!that!emerge!even!across!cases!seemingly!similar!in!terms!of!religious!background.!!
A!first!observation!is!that!the!relationship!between!Secularity!I!and!Taylor’s!particular!
concern,! Secularity! III,! turns! out! to! be! anything! but! straightforward.! For! example,! the!
existence!of!an! option! not! to!believe!–!or,! at! least,! to!put!one’s!unbelief! on! public! display!
without! fear! of! legal! or! social! sanction! –! seems! in! part! to! be! a! function! of! the! legal!
environment,!specifically! of!whether!official!identification!as!“atheist”!or!“unbeliever”!is!an!
available!public!option.!For!Taylor,!a!central!feature!of!living!in!the!Secular!Age!of!the!North!
Atlantic! world! is! the! possibility! not! to! be! “religiously! marked,”! i.e.! to! live! without! being!
!
!
7!
identified!in!public!life!in!terms!of!one’s!religious!(or!expressively!non-religious)!belonging.8!
In!most!of!the!countries!studied,!however,!such!a!condition!of!a!public!sphere!blind!towards!
individual!religious!(or!non-religious)!identity!is!not!to!be!found.!The!state!authorities!of!many!
countries!impose!a!legal!requirement!for!citizens!to!classify!themselves!in!terms!of!a!limited!
schedule! of! categories! of! religious! identity.! Some! do! it! by! requiring! the! mention! of! one’s!
religious!affiliation!on!identity!cards!(e.g.!in!Egypt,!Indonesia,!Iran,!Israel,!Morocco,!Pakistan),!
others!through!the!application!of!religion-based!personal!status!law!(making!citizens!subject!
to!Hindu,!Muslim,!Coptic!systems!of!family!law,!for!instance),!mandatory!religious!instruction!
in! public! schools,! and! even! differential! access! to! political! rights,! so! that! in! some! cases!
members!of!religious!minorities!are!not!permitted!to!run!for!certain!political!offices!or!serve!
in! the! military! (e.g.! in! Iran,! Israel,! Morocco,! Pakistan,! Turkey).! As! a! consequence! of! the!
existence!of!these!rules,!attempted!deviation! from! state-recognized! categories! of! religious!
identity!as!well!as!the!open!expression!of!unbelief!is!typically!punishable!by!law,!or!involves!
severest!disadvantages,!such!as!denied!access!to!education.9!
Of! course,! social! realities! and! the! meanings! attached! to! them! are! rarely! direct!
reflections! of! legal! regulations,! and! it! is! clear! that! the! requirement! to! register! a! religious!
identity! does! not! mean! that! those! registered! are! conscientious! believers,! adherents,! or!
practitioners.!Thus,!for!example,!even!though!in!Turkey!citizenship!is!in!fact!still!dependent!
on!the! acceptance! of!a! state-defined! religious!identity,! it!is! and! has!for! long! been!socially!
acceptable! among! certain! parts! of! society! to! declare! oneself! agnostic.! Secularity! III! –! the!
option!not!to!believe!or!be!observant!–!exists!in!some!Turkish!milieux,!then,!even!though!the!
current!AKP-led!government!has!contributed!much!to!an!emergent!discourse! that! equates!
unbelief! with! immorality,! if! not! apostasy.! There! are! also! counter-cases,! such! as! India! and!
Indonesia,!where!political!rights!are!not!affected!by!religious!affiliation,!and!where!religious!
freedom! is! a! good! the! government! vies! to! protect,! but! where! –! despite! this! –! openly!
expressed!unbelief!or!professed!agnosticism!is!hardly!socially!acceptable.!A!fraction!of!some!
elite!groups!may!profess!to!be!agnostic,!even!atheist,!but!for!the!overwhelming!majority!of!
society! such! a! stance! is! unheard! of.10! Further,! as! discussed! below,! there! are! cases! of! the!
“marker!state”!such!as! Morocco! and! Iran,! where! the!nexus!between!religion!and!the!state!
has!been!so!strong!((as!per!Table!16.1!with!low!scores!for!Secularity!I)!that!it!seems!to!have!
triggered! over! time! a! trend! toward! the! appreciation! of! Secularity! III! in! society,! i.e.! the!
conviction!among!increasing!numbers!of!citizens!that!how!and!if!they!practice!religion!should!
not!at!all!be!the!state’s!–!and!perhaps!not!even!the!public’s!–!business.!
Nor!can!it!be!said!that!the!officially!secularist!states!(Soviet!Russia!from!1917,!China!
from! 1949)! were! religiously! “unmarked,”! since! the! ruling! regimes! have! on! occasion! been!
closely!identified!with!worldviews!deeply!antagonistic!to!each!country’s!religious!traditions,!
and! open! avowal! of! religious! belief! and! practice! was! sometimes! punished! with! extremely!
harsh!sanctions.!Similarly,!if!not!to!the!same! extent,! the! Turkish! state! from! 1928! (when!its!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8!Taylor!speaks!of!the!“religiously!marked”!individual,!for!example,!in!2011b:!41.!He!also!discusses!this!term!in!
the! 2013! Unseld! Lecture! on! “Religion! and! Secularism! in! Modern! Democracies,”! given! at! the! University! of!
Tübingen,! June! 4,! 2013.! http://forum-humanum.org/mediathek/sprecher-einzelansicht/sprecher/prof-dr-
charles-taylor/.!What!we!suggest!with!our!usage!of!the!term!“marker!state”!is!that!in!many!states!of!Asia,!state!
bureaucracies!force!citizens!to!be!“religiously!marked”!–!a!non-religious!identity!is!from!a!legal!point!of!view!not!
possible.!!!
9!Bahais!in!Egypt!and!Iran!are!a!case!in!point,!who!are!forced!to!register!as!Muslim!and!submit!themselves!to!
Islamic!family!law.!Failure!to!do!so!can!result!in!charges!of!apostasy!punishable!by!death.!
10!As!Kaviraj!reminds! us,!after!all,!a! religious!form!of!atheism!has! been! part! of!India’s!cultural! heritage!since!
ancient!times!(Kaviraj!in!Bilgrami!2016).!
!
!
8!
linkage! to! Islam! was! constitutionally! severed! and! the! “arrow! of! secularism”! proclaimed! a!
guiding!principle!of!the!state)!until!the!early!1950s,!and!Iran!under! Reza!Khan!(1925–1941)!
were! officially! marked! by! commitments! to! values! antagonistic! to! the! dominant! religious!
traditions.!In!all!of!these!cases!a!clear!disconnect!can!be!observed!between!official!policies!at!
the!level!of!the!state!and!the!public!sphere!(where!Secularity!I!operates)!and!the!social!and!
cultural!realities! in! society!(where!Secularity! III! operates).!So,!to! summarize! a!first!general!
observation,! while! the! level! of! state! regulation! of! the! religious! field! varies! considerably!
between,! say,! India,! Indonesia,! Russia,! and! Turkey! (as! per! Table! 16.1),! none! of! the! states!
included!in!this!volume!–!with!the!possible!exception!of!Japan!after!1945!–!can!be!described!
as!“unmarked.”!
A! second! general! observation! that! arises! from! examining! the! case! studies!
comparatively!concerns!the! relationship! between!Secularity!I! and! regime!type.!Because! of!
their!formal! commitment! to!religious!freedom,! one! might!have!expected! the! democracies!
among!the!cases!studied!to! feature! relatively! high! levels!of!both!Secularity!I!and! III,! which!
together!provide! for!freedom!to!believe! or!not!to!believe.! Yet,!as!Table!16.1!also!indicates,!
this!is!not!the!case.!Jonathan!Fox,!among!others,!has!shown!that!existing!democracies!exhibit!
considerable!variance!with! regard! to! their!levels!of!Secularity! I,! and! few!actually!feature! a!
strict! separation! where,! on! the! one! hand,! religious! authorities! and! institutions! do! not!
interfere!with!politics,!and!on!the!other,!the!state!for!its!part!does!not!interfere!in!the!religious!
field!(Stepan!2000,!Fox!2007,!Madeley!2009b).!In!several!of!the!democracies!included!here,!
the!state!is! seen! to! “interfere”!in!the!religious! field! quite! pervasively!(Fox!2012).!Thus,!for!
instance,! in! the! case! of! Israel,! the! state! has! since! its! foundation! effectively! licensed! and!
conceded!establishment!status!to!the!Orthodox!Rabbinate!on!issues!of!deciding!who!is!legally!
to!be!classified!as!Jewish!and!who!is!not.!In!the!long-standing!democracy!of!India,!Parliament!
enacted!the!Hindu!Code! Bill! in! 1955/1956,!which!stated!that!in!matters! of! personal! status!
Jains,!Sikhs,!and!Buddhists!should!be!treated!as!Hindus!in!the!eyes!of!the!law.!And,!as!a!further!
illustration,! the! Indian! judiciary! has! often! proclaimed! judgments! that! support! quasi-
theological!claims!on!key!religious!questions!(Sezgin!and!Künkler!2014),!such!as!in!the!famous!
Ayodhya!case!(2010),!where!the!Uttar!Pradesh!high!court!ruled!that!Lord!Ram!must!indeed!
have!been!born!in!Ayodhya!–!despite!research!that!is!inconclusive!even!as!to!his!historical!
existence.!
In!the!two!younger!democracies!included,!Indonesia!and!Turkey,!religious!and!political!
authority!is!constitutionally!separated,!but!the!state!has!interfered!and!continues!to!interfere!
heavily!in!religious!life.!As!Bâli!illustrates!in!the!case!of!Turkey,!the!republican!national!project!
reconceived!the!diversity!of!Muslim!life!in!narrow!terms!so!as!to!recognize!and!embrace!Sunni!
Hanafi!Islam!only,!thereby!effectively!suppressing!other!Islamic!currents,!including!the!large!
minority!of!Alevites,!estimated!at!15–25!percent!of!the!population.!Nor!is!the!Indonesian!state!
immune! to! the! charge! of! having! heavily! interfered! in! the! religious! field,! insofar! as! the!
practices!of! Muslim! currents!other! than! Sunni!Shafi‘i!Islam! are! not!protected! by! law,!and,!
where!identified,!their!members!(e.g.!Shiites,!Ahmadis,!and!others)!are!routinely!persecuted.!
Further,! as! Künkler’s! chapter! shows,! after! 1945! the! state! forced! the! Buddhist! and! Hindu!
communities!officially!to!remodel!their!belief!systems!along!monotheistic!lines!in!order!to!fit!
under!the!pan-religious!umbrella!of!pancasila,!an!ethos!of!religious!diversity,!which,!for!all!its!
seeming!inclusiveness,!is!intolerant!of!both!polytheism!and!non-theism,!as!well!as,!of!course,!
atheism.!
What!is!observed,!therefore,!across!both!the!long-standing!democracies!(India,!Israel,!
and!Japan)!and!the!newer!democracies!(Indonesia!and,!until!2012,!Turkey)!is!great!variance!
!
!
9!
in!terms!of!the!dimensionality!and!level!of!consistency!of!differentiation!between!the!spheres!
of!state!and!religion,!and,!in!all!cases!but!Japan,!the!general!absence!of!a!strict!separation!of!
religion!and!state.!
The! way! this! appears! to! bear! on! the! absence! or! presence! of! Secularity! III! is! also!
somewhat! counterintuitive.! While! Indonesia! and! Turkey! share! the! characteristic! of! being!
Muslim-majority! countries! that! have! democratized! more! recently,! the! conditions! of! belief!
diverge!sharply!as!between!them:!in!Turkey,!as!already!noted,!unbelief!is!a!socially!accepted!
position!among!certain!(mostly! metropolitan)! elites,! whereas!in!Indonesia!it!is,! as! in! India,!
scarcely! culturally! “available”! as! an! option.! A! more! prevalent! trend! in! both! India! and!
Indonesia!seems!to! be!toward!what!Taylor!calls! neo-!and!post-Durkheimian!social!forms!of!
religious!experience,!either!attaching!an!ethnic!marker!to!religion,!or!choosing!privately!to!
follow!practices!not!strictly!associated!with!the!dominant!local!traditions,!but!still!reminiscent!
of!them.!
The!relationship!between!Secularity!I!and!III!among!the!authoritarian!cases!discussed!
in!this!volume!appears!equally!disjointed.!One!might!have! expected!in!this!set!of!cases!low!
levels!of!Secularity!I,!and,!as!a!likely!consequence,!low!levels!of!Secularity!III.!Yet!here!too!the!
picture!is!mixed.!The!non-democratic!Muslim!countries!included!(Egypt,!Morocco,!Iran,!and!
Pakistan)!all!have!histories!of!non-secular!settlements,!and!their!current!governments!are!not!
committed!to! any! significant! reduction!in! levels! of!state!interference! in! the!religious!field.!
Traditions!of!agnosticism!–!what!Taylor!calls!“exclusive!humanism”!–!can!only!be!cultivated!
and!practiced!in!the!private!sphere.!China!and!Russia,!on!the!other!hand,!offer!very!different!
scenarios.!In!China,!while!the!regime!now!grants!a!degree!of!religious!freedom!to!adherents!
of! the! five! officially! recognized! religious! associations,! the! state! still! tries! to! limit! religion’s!
public!influence!and! to! keep! control! of!religious!affairs,!meantime! continuing! to! use! some!
religious!links!for!diplomatic!or!economic!purposes!on!the!one!hand!and!to!repress!religious!
movements!which! it!perceives!to!be!politically!threatening,! such!as!the!Falun!Gong,! on!the!
other.! In! Russia,! by! contrast,! while! there! is! a! formal! separation! of! the! Russian! Orthodox!
Church! and! the! state,! a! growing! collusion! between! the! Church! and! senior! officials! of! the!
regime! on! issues! of! common! concern! (for! example,! involving! the! promotion! of! Russian!
national!identity!and!operating!a!ban!on!“homosexual!propaganda”)!is!evident,!while!–!as!in!
China!–!newer!and!more!marginal!religious!groups!tend!to!suffer!from!many!different!types!
of! discrimination,! including! open! persecution.! In! both! China! and! Russia,! it! should! also! be!
noted,!atheism!continues!to!subsist!among!the!population!despite!the!shift!away!from!a!state!
commitment!to!its!militant!promotion.!
A!third!general!observation!concerns!what!can!be!called!multiple!secularities!involving!
the! range! of! religion–state! arrangements! illustrated! by! the! case! studies! from! the! Muslim!
world.!Defying!essentialist!notions!of!typically!“Islamic”!religion–state!relations!often!inspired!
by!the!view!that!Islam!knows!no!separation!between!religion!and!state,!the!six!Muslim!cases!
could! hardly! feature! greater! diversity.! Four! points! in! particular! stand! out.! Firstly,!
independently!of!each!other,!three!of!the!contributors!–!one!writing!on!a!case!from!the!Arab!
world,!the!other!two!on!cases!from!the!non-Arab!world!–!suggest!that!Taylor’s!three!notions!
of!secularity!need!to!be!complemented!by!a!fourth!in!order!satisfactorily!to!cover!aspects!of!
secularity!prevalent!in!those!societies:!a!notion!involving!the!instrumentalization!of!religion!
as!political!(collective)!identity.!Thus,!Christophe!Jaffrelot!on!Pakistan,!Nader!Hashemi!on!Iran,!
and!Jonathan!Wyrtzen!on!Morocco!all!note!how!in!order!to!cope!with!the!growing!attraction!
in!society!of!political!Islam,!the!states!have!promoted!the!notion!of!Islam!as!the!positive!fount!
!
!
10!
of!political!identity,!thereby!creating!a!strong!link!between!nationalism!and!Islam.11!The!issue!
is!not!only!relevant!to!the!Muslim-majority!countries!examined!in!this!volume:!a!strong!nexus!
between!nationalism! and! religion!is! also! to! be! found!in! the! contexts!of! Israel,! Russia,!and!
Japan.!
Secondly,!there!is!a!striking! difference! between! those! Muslim-majority! case!studies!
where! a! secular! alternative! to! previously! dominant! religious! discourses! emerged! at! some!
point,!and!those!where!it!did!not.!Because!of!the!nexus!between!nationalism!and!religion,!
Islamization!was!perceived!in!Morocco!and!Pakistan!as!a!way!of!strengthening!the!state!and!
its! people! and! buttressing! internal! cohesion.! Jonathan! Wyrtzen! suggests! that! it! is!
predominantly! for! this! reason! that! a! secular–nationalist! discourse! did! not! establish! itself!
successfully!among!the!Moroccan!public!(a!discourse!that!would!de-couple!nationalism!from!
religious!identity!could!easily!be!criticized!as!unpatriotic).!By!contrast,!in!Iran!prior!to!1979,!
Indonesia,! and! Turkey,! modernization! policies! (in! law,! the! administration! and! economic!
development)!were!more!often!than!not!presented!in!the!framework!of!secular–nationalist!
campaigns.!Sometimes,!the!modernizing!state!went!so!far!as!to!present!religion!in!general!as!
a!principal!obstacle!to!progress!and!development,!and!Islam!in!particular!as!something!that!
“held!society!back.”!While!a!secularist!national!discourse!could!be!detected!in! parts! of! the!
Muslim!world!in!the!1960s!and!1970s,!Morocco!presented!an!interesting!exception.!Wyrtzen!
relates!its!absence!to!a!contrast!with! the! Arab! East,! where,! he! argues,! “the! political! order,!
due! to! the! influential! role! played! by! Arab! Christian! elites! in! articulating! ideals! of! Arab!
nationalism,!was!legitimated!primarily!by!a!discourse!of!Arab!cultural!identity,!which,!while!
not!exclusive!of!Islam,!was!more!secular!in!its!orientation!in!the!primacy!it!gave!to!Arab!over!
Muslim!identity”!(Chapter!13:!000).!By!contrast,!in!the!Maghreb,!Wyrtzen!suggests,!despite!
the!historic!presence! of! Jewish! communities,!“Arabic!and!Islamic! identities! were! conflated!
much!more!in!defining!and!mobilizing!the!nation!during!the!anti-colonial!struggle”!(Chapter!
13:!000).!In!Pakistan,!a!similar!conflation!of!Pakistani!and!Islamic!identities!occurred!primarily!
due! to! the! state’s! self-identification! as! Hindu-majority! India’s! “other”.! ! The! Mashreq,! by!
contrast,!would!show!parallels!with!the!Iranian!pre-1979,!Turkish,!and!Indonesian!contexts,!
where! elite! actors! had! vested! interests! in! reaching! non-religious! settlements! that! would!
facilitate!a!conception!of!citizenship!as!inclusive!of!religious!difference.!
Thirdly,! the! Muslim-majority! cases! diverge! with! regard! to! how! aggressively! the!
policies!of!state-building!earlier!in!the!twentieth!century!worked!against!religious!elites.!Some!
Muslim!countries,!such!as!Turkey!and!Iran!pre-1979,!underwent!secular,!modernizing!state-
building!projects!often!designed!in! opposition! to! the! traditional!religious!establishment.!In!
others,!such!as!Morocco!and!Pakistan,!the!state!never!portrayed!modernization!in!necessary!
opposition!to!religion.!Even!New!Order!Indonesia!(1966–1998),!in!many!ways!the!prototype!
of! a! developmentalist! regime,! tried! to! co-opt! rather! than! openly! antagonize! religious!
authorities.!These!divergencies!led!to!different!patterns!of!path!dependency.!In!Turkey!and!
Iran,!the!modern!state!initially!took!measures!to!contain,!control,!and!even!in!part!suppress!
religion,! inter! alia! by! closing! religious! schools,! replacing! religious! by! state! courts,! and,! in!
Turkey,!by! going! so!far! as! to!prohibit!religious! foundations!and! replacing! all! religious!with!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11!Jaffrelot!identifies!this!phenomenon!as!an!emergent!case!of!a!“Secularity!IV.”!That!Taylor! would!agree!with!
this!coinage!remains!open!to!question!in!so!far!as!he!refers!to!tendencies!that!use!religion!as!political!(collective)!
identity!as! “neo-Durkheimian”!(2007:!455459),!while!he!describes!the!North-Atlantic!world!as!having!moved!
into! a! post-Durkheimian! phase! “in! which! the! spiritual! dimension! of! existence! is! quite! unhooked! from! the!
political”!(2007:!455).!His!analysis!would!imply!that!neo-Durkheimianism!cannot!count!as!a!form!of!secularity!at!
all.!
!
!
11!
secular! law.! Religious! elites,! formerly! the! principal! providers! of! legal! adjudication! and!
education,!were!robbed!of!their!primary! fields! of! societal! influence.! In! Turkey,! they! largely!
failed! to! resist! their! gradual! marginalization,! while! in! Iran,! influential! religious! authorities!
were! able! to! countervail! the! anti-religious! policies! of! the! Pahlavi! dynasty,! and! eventually!
succeeded!in!toppling!the!monarchy!in!1979!(being!Shiite,!they!were!organizationally!much!
better!networked! than! their! Sunni! counterparts!in! Turkey).!In! Pakistan,! state-building!and!
religion!were!intimately!interconnected!as!the!young!Pakistani!state!defined!itself!against!its!
principal!other:!the!Hindu-majority!state!of!India.!The!religious!establishment!profited!from!
the! Islamic! identity! of! the! state,! insofar! as! madrasa! graduation! was! recognized! as! a!
requirement!for!entry!into!the!state!bureaucracy!and!thereby!facilitated!access!to!political!
positions.!In!Indonesia,!the!state!also!accorded!more!space!to!actors!in!the!religious!field!by!
tolerating! both! religious! private! schools! and! the! continued! private! training! of! religious!
officials!(prayer!leaders,!preachers,!etc.).!And!in!Morocco,!the!state!virtually!monopolized!the!
‘production’!of! Islam! with!the! Ministry! of!Religious! Affairs! paying!imams’! salaries,! training!
them,!and!approving!khutbas.!
Finally,!while!a! strong! nexus!of!religious!and!political!authority!in!Iran! and! Morocco!
can!be!seen!to!account!for!the!absence!of!Secularity!I,!it!is!interestingly!in!these!two!societies!
(as!opposed!to! Egypt,!Turkey,!or!Indonesia)!that!a!greater! societal!(as!opposed!to!political)!
openness!to! the!possibility! of! exclusive!humanism! (an!important! element! of!Secularity! III)!
seems!to! have! developed.! Thus,! the!authors! of! the!chapters! on!Iran! and! Morocco,!where!
political!rule!is!legitimated! with! reference! to!religion,!note!that!today’s! secularizing! trends!
can!be!identified!at!the!level! of! society.! Given! a! similar! constellation!of!state!and!religious!
identity!in!Pakistan,! this! raises! the!question!of!what! explains! the! notable!weakness!of! any!
significant! societal! secularizing! trend! there.! In! spite! of! the! resilience! of! a! secular-minded!
cosmopolitan!elite,!and!also,!as!Jaffrelot!puts!it,!of!“syncretistic!trends”!in!rural!areas,!what!
were! once! high! levels! of! inter-sectarian! and! inter-religious! tolerance! are! on! the! demise,!
largely! due! the! assault! of! Islamists! and! the! Islamists’! sympathizers! in! the! state,! especially!
those!in!the!army!and!security!services.!
In!Charles!Taylor’s!A'Secular'Age,!the!“changing!conditions!of!belief,!experience!and!
doubt”! (Secularity! III)! are! seen! to! come! about! chiefly! through! theological,! social,! and!
intellectual!reform.!As!such,!they!are!fundamentally!cultural!phenomena!that!in!turn!set!off!
new! departures! which! create! the! original! historic! possibility! for! Secularity! I’s! institutional!
separation!of!church!and!state!in!the!West.!By!contrast,!a!clear!conclusion!emanating!from!
this!comparison!of!secularity!in!the!cases!studied!here!is!that!Secularity!III!is!most!unlikely!to!
emerge!without! minimum! levels!of!Secularity! I! being!in! place! (religious!freedom,! a! state’s!
blindness!as!to!the!citizen’s!religious!belonging).!This!difference!in!sequence!is!largely!due!to!
the! comparatively! later! processes! of! state! formation.! Beyond! this! conditionality,! various!
combinations! of! high! Secularity! I! and! low! Secularity! III! or! medium! Secularity! I! and! low!
Secularity!III!appear!to!be!possible!and!no!linear!relationship!between!Secularities!I!and!III!can!
be!detected,!at!least!not!in!the!time!span!observed!here.!Further,!the!patterns!of!evolution!
respectively!of!Secularities!I!and!III!across!the!twentieth!century!have!been!seen!to!be!highly!
divergent! across! the! cases! studied,! with! no! element,! such! as! regime! type,! religious!
background! (Muslims! versus! Hindu,! say),! or! immediate! history! (colonized! versus! not!
colonized)!emerging! as!a!clear!determining!factor.!An!open!situation!whereby! “religion!has!
become!one!option!among!many!and!frequently!not!the!easiest!to!embrace”!has!not!emerged!
in!most!of!the!cases!examined! and! it! is! suggested! that! the! types!of!theological,!social,!and!
intellectual!reform!processes! which! facilitated! the!emergence!of!Secularity! III! in! the!North!
!
!
12!
Atlantic!World!have!most!often!been!politically!thwarted!by!the!prevailing!type!of!religion–
state!relations!in!the!cases!discussed!here.!How!did!these!patterns!of!religion–state!relations!
come!about?!The!next!section!turns!to!examine!this!question.!
!
Constitutional#Legacies#and#SecularReligious#Settlements#
While!changes!in! levels!of!religious!belief!and!practice!(Secularity! II)! or!in!the!conditions!of!
belief,! experience! and! doubt! (Secularity! III)! have! typically! occurred! unevenly! and! over!
extended!periods!of!time,!shifts!in!the!relative!prominence!of!religious!influences!in!the!realm!
of!political!authority!(Secularity!I)!have! tended! to! be! precipitated! by! key!political!events!at!
what!students!of! historical! institutionalism! call!“critical!junctures.”12!In! his! influential!1978!
work!A'General'Theory'of'Secularization,!David!Martin! highlighted! the! fact! that! at!certain!
crucial! periods! in! their! history! societies! acquire! a! particular! frame! and! subsequent! events!
persistently!move!within!the!limits!of!that!frame”!(1978:!15).!The!implicit!idea!is!of!course!the!
phenomenon!of!a!“path!dependence”!–!in!Martin’s!metaphor,!“a!contour!of!dykes!and!canals!
set!up!at!a!crucial!turning!point!in!history![whereby]!the!flow!of!events!runs!according!to!that!
contour”!(ibid.);!key!institutional!choices!made!at!critical!junctures!tend!to!“stick”!because!
“the!costs!of!reversal!are!very!high.!There!will!be!other!choice!points,!but!the!entrenchments!
of!certain!institutional!arrangements!obstruct!easy!reversal!of!the!initial!choice”!(Levi!1997,!
28).!Martin’s!1978! volume! illustrated! how!the!working!of!these!and!other!dynamics! across!
Europe!and!the!Americas!set!off!by!a!series!of!revolutionary!“crucial!events”!and!subsequent!
“variable!histories”!resulted!in!a!series!of!contrasting!patterns!of!relation!affecting!religious!
institutions,!beliefs,!and!ethos!–!terms!which!can,!incidentally,!be!seen!to!reflect!distinctions!
similar!to!those!between!Taylor’s!three!secularities.13!
In! almost! all! the! cases! surveyed! in! this! volume,! the! relation! between! religion,! the!
state,!and!the!public!sphere!has!been!profoundly!shaped!by!the!setting!of!state!constitutions!
or!other!basic!laws! framed! in! the! aftermath!of!critical!junctures!thrown!up!by!episodes!of,!
respectively,!decolonization!(Egypt,!Indonesia,!India,!Pakistan,!Morocco),!revolution!(Russia,!
China,! Iran),! or! war! (Turkey,! Japan,! Israel).! In! seeking! to! understand! the! character! and!
development! of! the! resulting! patterns,! attention! has! accordingly! been! paid! to! the!
phenomenon! of! “path! dependency”! involving! both! the! emergence! of! challenges! to! initial!
frame-setting!settlements!and!the!constraints!on!subsequent!developments!associated!with!
the! heavy! costs! involved! in! radical! change.! Despite! the! heavy! costs,! some! of! the!
developments! studied! have! involved! actual! “frame-busting”! changes! (such! as! the! 1979!
Iranian!revolution)!which!themselves!set!off!new!path-dependent!dynamics.!
Attempts!to!account!for!the!character!and!variability!of!the!different!settlements!have!
necessarily!focused!attention!on!the!principal!actors!during!critical!junctures,!especially!those!
with! vested! interests! in! particular! outcomes! for! whom! those! episodes! often! provided!
opportunities!for! entrenchment.! In!most! of! the!cases!studied,! such! influential!actors! have!
included!relatively!small!elite!groups!whose!strength!and!influence!did!not!depend!on!their!
representation! within! the! affected! populations.! It! is! to! an! examination! of! these! initial!
settlements,!contrasting!balances!(or!imbalances)!between! instances! of! state! and! religious!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12!For!the!notion!of!critical!junctures!and!path!dependencies,!see!the!historical!institutionalist!literature!by!Collier!
&!Collier!1991;!Pierson!2000;!Mahoney!and!Thelen!2010.!
13!In!his!later!work!on!contrasting!patterns!of!secularization!(and!sanctification)!in! Europe,!Latin!America,!and!
Sub-Saharan!Africa,! Martin! further! expanded! on! “how!the!themes! of! the! religious! repertoire! [are]! v ariously!
inflected”! in! wider! geographical! and! historical! contexts! in! ways! that! complement! and! extend! (both!
geographically!and!thematically)!the!coverage!of!this!volume!(Martin!2005:!130).!
!
!
13!
authority!and!the! varying! degrees!of!constitutional!fixity!they!exhibited!that! attention! now!
turns.!
#
Typologies#of#SecularReligious#Settlements#
!
At!first!glance,!the!cases!surveyed! fall! into! three! contrasting! categories.!The!first!is!that!of!
explicitly! or! de! facto! secular! settlements! where! the! resulting! constitutions! provided! no!
recognition!of!the!claims!of!religious!authorities!to!special!treatment!and!status,!for!example,!
by! denying! any! place! for! religious! sources! in! public! law.! This! category! includes! the! initial!
settlements!of!China!in!1912,!Russia!in!1917,!Turkey!in!1924,!Indonesia!in!1945,!Japan!in!1946,!
India!in!1947,!and!the!status!quo!agreed!upon!in!Israel!in!1948.!In!addition,!later!settlements!
in!China!in! 1949,! Indonesia!in!2002,! and! Egypt! in!2014!also! qualify! as!secular.!To! take! the!
Japanese! case! as! an! illustration,! after! the! 1945! surrender,! the! process! of! writing! the! new!
constitution!was! severely! constrained!by! the!requirements! imposed! by!the! US! occupation!
administration.!Unsurprisingly,!as!Helen!Hardacre!shows,!the!constitution!that!emerged!bore!
the!unmistakable!marks!of!American!pressure,!despite!the!retention!of!the!monarchy!and!the!
shift! to! a! system! of! parliamentary! government.! The! removal! of! the! sacred! status! of! the!
monarch!and!the!disestablishment!of!what!had!been!the!state!Shinto!cult!in!particular!bore!
witness!to!American!influence.!
The!second,!much!smaller!category!consists!of!explicitly!unsecular!settlements:!those!
where!constitutions!established!a!nominally!religious!state.!To!this!category!belong!the!cases!
of! Morocco! in! 1958! and! Iran! in! 1979.! In! Morocco! the! established! position! of! the! king! as!
Commander!of!the!Faithful!represented!(and!continues!to!represent)!a!fusion!of!religious!and!
political!authority!which!fixes!the!Islamic!identity!of!the!state.! Jonathan! Wyrtzen’s! chapter!
shows! that! the! French! protectorate! of! 1912! to! 1956,! far! from! imposing! laicité! as! in!
metropolitan!France,! carefully! preserved!traditional!religious! structures! in!order!to! ensure!
stability! during! the! colonial! era.! After! 1956,! the! ambiguities! that! characterized! the!
protectorate!persisted! even!with!the!restoration!of!the!Alawite!sultanate!(later! monarchy),!
bolstered!as!it!was!by!its!role!as!a!symbol!of!national!identity!in!contradistinction!to!French!
colonial!claims.!In!recent!years,!the!delicate!balances!involved!in!this!settlement!have!become!
difficult!to!maintain,!particularly!with!rising!Islamist!radicalism!and!liberal!secular!movements!
of! reform! in! the! Maghreb,! as! the! ongoing! contestation! around! constitutional! reform!
illustrates.!
In! Iran,! even! though! the! anti-Shah! coalition! in! the! later! 1970s! included! important!
secular! groups,! not! least! among! them! liberal! constitutionalists! and! human! rights! lawyers,!
supporters!of! Khomeini’s! leadership!were!soon!able!to! capitalize!on!the!symbolic!power!of!
the!clergy,! with!Khomeini!as!its!figurehead.!The!first!draft!of!a!new!constitution,!conceived!
during!the!last!year!of!Khomeini’s!exile!in!France,!was!based!on!the!1958!French!constitution!
and!was!both!broadly!republican!and!secular.!Khomeini!consented!to!submit!this!draft!to!the!
people!in!a!referendum!but!revolutionary!factions!objected.!So!too!–!ironically,!in!hindsight!–!
did! the! human! rights! movement,! which! argued! that! civil! liberties! needed! to! be! further!
strengthened,!and!that!the!constitution!ought!to!be!the!product!of!an!inclusive!constitutional!
process,!rather!than!the!work!of!single!legal!scholar.!Little!did!they!foresee!that!the!process!
would! result! in! a! document! according! to! which! civil! liberties! meant! little! and! the! highest!
political!office!would!be!reserved!for!a!religious!authority.!
The! third! category! of! secular–religious! settlement! includes! those! with! ambiguous!
formulations! which! do! not! establish! a! nominally! religious! state! but! which! nonetheless!
!
!
14!
privilege!religious!authorities!in!state!affairs.!Examples!would!be!Iran!in!1906/1907,!Pakistan!
in!1956,!and,!much!more!recently,!Egypt!in!2012.!
Taking!the!earliest!of!these!cases!first,!the!1907!amendment!to!the!1906!constitution!
of!Iran!–!the!first!constitution!in!the!Middle!East!to!be!attained!through!a!struggle!from!below!
–!established!an!ulama!council!that!would!screen!the!bills!of!the!just-created!parliament!for!
their!coherence!with!Islamic!law.!While!executive!authority!would!remain!secular!(the!Shah),!
in!legislative!affairs!religious!scholars!would!have!the!last!word.!The!1907!supplementary!law!
also!created!what!legal!scholars!refer!to!as!a!“repugnancy!clause”:!Art.!2!stipulated!that!no!
law! shall! contradict! the! teachings! of! the! Qur’an! and! Sunnah.! Interestingly,! Iran! in! 1907!
created! precedents! with! two! institutions! that! would! later! be! adopted! elsewhere! in! the!
Muslim!world:!the!repugnancy!clause,!and!the!council!of!ulama!that!would!participate!in!the!
legislative!process.!
As! Christophe! Jaffrelot! shows,! the! 1956! constitution! of! Pakistan! was! deeply!
ambiguous!in!respect!of!its!treatment!of!religion.!While!its!Art.!18!ostensibly!recognized!full!
freedom!of!religion,!the!country!was!declared!to!be!an!Islamic!Republic,!stipulated!an!Islamic!
repugnancy!clause,!and!established!that!the!president!be!Muslim.!The!repugnancy!clause!had!
less! power! than! in! 1907! Iran,! however,! as! the! Islamic! Advisory! Board! charged! with! its!
implementation! was! constituted! for! a! limited! five-year! period! and! could! only! formulate!
recommendations! to! parliament,! which! was! not! required! to! consider! these,! nor! was! the!
repugnancy!clause!justiciable.!In!other!words,!a!citizen!who!felt!that!legislation!was!not!in!line!
with!Islamic!law!could!not!plead!on!this!basis!in!court.!
The!third!example!of!a!highly!ambiguous!settlement!is!the!most!recent!one!covered!
in! this! volume:! that! of! the! abortive! Egyptian! constitution! of! 2012,! which! in! Art.! 2! (like! its!
predecessor)!recognized!Islamic!law!as!the!major!source!of!law!and!in!its!new!Art.!4!stipulated!
that! scholars! of! al-Azhar! would! need! to! be! consulted! on! matters! relating! to! Islamic! law! –!
without,!however,!clarifying!whether!these!scholars!would!have!veto!power!over!legislation!
or!how!frequently!and!intensively!parliament!would!be!required!to!consult!them.!As!in!Iran!
in!1906!and!Pakistan!in!1956,!political!authority!was!separate!from!religious!authority,!but!
religious!scholars!were!granted!a!say!in!the!legislative!process.!
!
Between#State#Control#of#Religion#and#Religious#Control#of#the#Public#Sphere#
!
As!important!as!critical!junctures!have!been!in!laying!down!the!basis!for!the!three!broad!types!
of!religion–state!settlements!just!discussed,!a!glance!at!subsequent!developments!makes!it!
clear! that! the! majority! of! cases! also! feature! significant! later! deviations! from! the! original!
settlements.! These! deviations,! moreover,! emerge! as! more! relevant! than! the! original!
settlements!for!assessing!the!incidence!of!Secularity!I.!!
Meiji!Japan!in!1868,!China!in!1912,!Russia!in!1917,!Turkey!in!1924,!China!in!1949,!and!
Egypt! in! 2014! all! present! cases! where! nominally! secular! settlements! were! eventually!
combined!with!heavy!state!control!over!the!religious!field.!Moves!in!the!opposite!direction,!
by!contrast,!can!be!observed!in!the!cases!of!Indonesia!in!1945,!India!in!1947,!Israel!in!1948,!
Pakistan!in!1956,!and!Egypt!in!2012,!where!once!formally!secular!settlements!were!eventually!
undermined!by!state!governments!ceding!important!public!functions!to!religious!authorities.!
In!Japan,! even!though!religious!and!political!authority!had!previously!been!separate!
and!a! number! of!faiths! legally! recognized,!the! 1868! Meiji! Restoration!embarked! upon! the!
elevation!of!Shinto!to!a!state!religion.!Efforts!were!made!to!separate!Shinto!from!Buddhism!
and!to!demote!the!latter!through!the!destruction!of!temples,!among!other!measures.!Shinto!
!
!
15!
was!released!from!Buddhist!administration!and!its!properties!restored.!An!Office!of!Shinto!
Worship!was!established,!and!the!Home!Ministry!assumed!control!of!all!Shinto!shrines.!
In! China,! even! though! some! crucial! shifts! in! the! relationship! between! the! state,!
religion,! and! politics! had! already! begun! before! the! end! of! the! nineteenth! century,! the!
foundation! of! the! Republic! of! China! in! 1912! marked! the! beginning! of! a! new! epoch.! The!
leadership! of! the! young! Republic! formally! established! a! degree! of! religious! freedom! and!
declared!the!equal!rights!of!believers!in!different!religions.!With!an!eye! on! the! example! of!
France,!it!adopted!the!principle!of!attempting!to!separate!politics!from!religion!and!relegating!
matters!of!religious!belief! to! the! private!sphere.!However,!the!concept!of! “religion”! which!
was!actually!deployed!in!this!new!context!was!anything!but!neutral.!Christianity!was!taken!by!
political!and!cultural!elites!as!the!model!of!authentic!religion,!with!its!features!of!scriptures,!
regular! time! and! place! of! worship,! ecclesiastical! establishment,! clerical! hierarchy,! written!
canon!law,!and!ritual! cycles.! Chinese! traditional!religions!were!accordingly! reformed! along!
Christian!lines!and!the!leadership!of!each!of!them!were!prevailed!upon!to!create!church-like!
national! associations.! Popular! cults! and! practices! (e.g.! fortune-telling! and! fengshui!
(geomancy))!that!could!not!be!reformed!along!Christian!lines!were!classified!as!superstitions,!
criticized!as!obstacles! to! Chinese!modernization,!and! subjected! to! damaging!attacks.!After!
World!War!II!and!the!years!of!civil!war,!the!same!broad!policy!of!state!supervision!and!control!
continued!under! the!Chinese!Communist!Party,! with!each!of!the! five!recognized!religions!–!
Buddhism,!Taoism,!Protestantism,!Catholicism,!and!Islam!–!maintaining!an!official!Church!or!
association! while! all! non-official! religious! bodies! continued! to! be! regarded! with! deep!
suspicion.!And!after!the!decade-long!aberration!of!the!Cultural!Revolution!(1966–1976),!when!
an!attempt!was!made!to!suppress!all!religion!as!superstition,!China!returned!to!the!earlier!
pattern!of!religious!control.!
As!John!Madeley!relates,!the!1917!Bolshevik!coup!in!Russia!provided!an!opportunity!
for!the!Bolshevik!leaders!with! their!dedication!to!a!particularly!militant!version!of!exclusive!
humanism!to!sideline!the!Orthodox!Church!(ROC),!degrade!its!capacity!to!sustain!itself,!and!
in!the!1930s!subject!it!to!a!violent!campaign!aimed!at!the!total!destruction!of!its!remaining!
influence.! Initially,! the! minority! alternative! religions! of! the! former! Russian! Empire! fared!
better,!only!later!to!share!in!a!fate!similar!to!that!of!the!ROC.!Despite!some!relaxation!of!the!
anti-religious!campaign!in!the!1940s,!religious!institutions!and!organizations!remained!firmly!
under!the!control!of!a!state!committed!to!building!an!entirely!secular!future,!until!the!radically!
reforming! changes! of! the! 1980s! supervened! and! a! modest! religious! revival! occurred.! The!
introduction! of! a! liberal! religious! freedom! reform! in! the! early! 1990s! was,! however,!
significantly!reversed!later!in!that!decade,!and!since!then!the!ROC!has!regained!some! of!its!
former!precedence,!while!unrecognized!sects,!particularly!those!of!foreign!origin,!continue!to!
suffer!discrimination!and,!occasionally,!outright!persecution.!
Turkey!represents!another!case!of!what!looked!at!first!glance!to!have!been!a!secular,!
separationist!settlement,!but!which!eventually!revealed!itself!to!be!one!of!state!domination!
over!religion.!As!Asli!Bâli!analyses,!the!political!settlement!of!the!1920s!and!’30s!produced!a!
durable!regime!that!institutionalized!complete!domination!of!the!state!in!all!religious!affairs.!
As!reforms!emptied!public!life!of!open!religious!references,!there!was!a!complete!failure!to!
introduce!a!two-way!separationist!barrier!between!religion!and!the!state.!The!reforms!which!
openly!intended!to!banish!religion!from!public!affairs!included!the!abolition!of!the!Caliphate!
and!the!closing!of!shari‘a!courts!in!1924,!the!abolition!of!public!religious!education!and!the!
disbanding!of!religious!orders!soon!after,!the!removal!of!Islam!from!the!constitutional!order!
in!1928,!and!the!subsequent!elimination!of!all!religious!laws!from!the!operative!legal!codes.!
!
!
16!
All!of!these! reforms!could!in!principle!have!allowed! for!a!vibrant!religious!life!to! flourish! in!
the!private!sphere!and!cannot!be!said!to!constitute!an!anti-religious!campaign!of!the!sort!that!
was!conducted!in!Russia!in!the!1930s;!they!might!indeed!have!produced!a!type!of!Secularity!
I!similar!to!that!of!the!United!States!during!the!heyday!of!Supreme!Court!separationism.!The!
Turkish! reforms,! however,! also! abolished! private! religious! education! and! placed! religious!
foundations! under! state! control,! while! setting! up! a! state! directorate! for! religious! affairs!
(diyanet)! that! took! exclusive! control! over! the! education! and! training! of! Islamic! scholars!
(ulama)! and! other! regulatory! functions! in! the! religious! field.! In! the! 1950s,! religious! public!
education!was!reintroduced!(while!private! educational! alternatives! remained! banned),!but!
the!content!of!the!teaching!was!restricted!to!the!Hanafi!traditions!of!Sunni!Islam,!and!had!the!
effect!of! suppressing! other! significant!Islamic!traditions! of! the!country,!especially! Alevism.!
This!heavy!state!regulation!of!religion!created!a!path-dependent!pattern!that!meant!that!any!
elected!government! signalling!the!possibility!of!reforming! this!settlement!risked!being!shut!
down.! Both! the! 1960! and! 1980! military! coups! and! the! 1997! soft! coup! were! publicly!
legitimated!with!reference!to!the!sense!that!Turkish!laiklik!was!under!threat.!!
After! the! 2013! military! coup! in! Egypt,! the! democratically! elected! government!
dominated! by! the! Muslim! Brothers! was! arrested! and! party! members! most! severely!
persecuted.! Religious! parties! have! been! outlawed! in! the! 2014! constitution! and! religious!
organizations!are!under!close!watch!of!the!military.!Religious!organizations,! as! civil! society!
organizations!in!general,!can!only!operate!insofar!as!they!are!tolerated!by!the!military,!which!
since!2013!has!been!engaged!in!transforming!Egypt!into!a!police!state.!
While!these!five!cases!illustrate!how!ostensibly!secular!and!separationist!settlements!
gave! way! to! state! control! over! the! religious! field,! other! cases! provide! examples! of! the!
opposite! development:! secular–separationist! settlements! that! have! eventually! been!
undermined! by! state! governments! ceding! public! functions! to! religious! authorities.! This!
pattern!can!be!observed!to!some!extent!in!Pakistan,!Israel,!Indonesia,!India,!and!Egypt!prior!
to!2012.!
In!Pakistan,!before!the!country’s!first!constitution!was!promulgated!in!1956,!religion
state! relations! were! organized! on! the! basis! of! the! 1935! Government! of! India! Act,! which!
recognized!religious!private!law!but!otherwise!made!no!specific!provisions!regarding!religion.!
In!1956,!these!relations!were!fundamentally!changed!as!the!constitution!defined!Pakistan!as!
an! Islamic! Republic.! Despite! this! declaration,! Christophe! Jaffrelot! maintains! that! the!
settlement!reached!in! Pakistan!remained!fundamentally!secular!until!the! mid-1970s,!partly!
because! the! constitution! incorporated! important! elements! also! found! in! the! 1950! Indian!
constitution.!Like!its!Indian!counterpart,!the!1956!Pakistan!constitution!secured!the!freedom!
to!worship!and! freedom!of!religion!more!generally.!The!judiciary! was! explicitly!tasked!with!
protecting!the!freedom! of!religion,!and!minorities!were!not!excluded!from! appointment!to!
offices!in!the!bureaucracy!or!military!by!virtue!of!their!religious!identity!–!except!for!the!office!
of!prime!minister,!which!was!reserved!for!a!Muslim.!Until!the!1970s,!the!judiciary!defended!
the! rights! of! religious! minorities,! including! the! Ahmadis,! but! the! situation! turned! in! 1974!
when,! under! pressure! from! the! Jamaat-i! Islami,! Prime! Minister! Bhutto! introduced!
constitutional! amendments! regarding! which! groups! were! to! be! considered! Muslim,! which!
had!the!significant!effect!of!excluding!the!Ahmadis.!In!1984,!Prime!Minister!Zia!went!one!step!
further,!and!made!blasphemy!punishable!by!death,!since!which!time!the!judiciary!has!been!
subject!to!intimidation!by!Islamist!groups!such!that!it!can!no!longer!be!considered!a!neutral!
force.! Hence,! in! Jaffrelot’s! eyes,! Pakistan! counts! as! a! case! where! an! originally! largely!
religiously!neutral!settlement!deteriorated!into!one!clearly!advantaging!Sunni!Muslims!over!
!
!
17!
other!religious!communities!and! increasingly! violating! the! rights!of!both!Muslim!non-Sunni!
and!non-Muslim!minorities.!
Hanna!Lerner’s! chapter! indicates!that! in! the!1948! founding! moment!Israeli! leaders!
were!unable!to!decide!between!a!secular!and!a!non-secular!settlement.!On!the!one!hand,!in!
the! proclamation! of! independence,! the! political! elite! defined! the! young! state! as! a! Jewish!
state,!though! the! nature!of! the! state,!whether! secular! or!religious,! was! not!specified.! The!
principles!to!which!the!leadership!committed!the!country!–!“complete!equality!of!social!and!
political!rights!to!all!its!inhabitants!irrespective!of!religion,!race!or!sex!…!freedom!of!religion,!
conscience,! language,! education! and! culture”! (Chapter! 9:! 000)! –! would! appear! to! be!
incompatible! with! the! privileging! in! general! of! one! religious! identity! over! others,! and,! in!
particular,!the!Orthodox!variant!of!Judaism!in!preference!to!non-Orthodox!traditions.!Despite!
this,!the!young! state! accorded!Judaism,!as!a!religion,!special!privileges,! and! within!Judaism!
promoted!the!Orthodox!Rabbinate!over!other!Jewish!currents.!Crucially,!only!the!Orthodox!
Rabbinate! can! determine! the! criteria! of! Jewishness,! and! Orthodox! schools! (over! whose!
curricula!the!state!has!no!control)!are!subsidized!by!public!funds!(Künkler!and!Lerner!2016).!
The!privileges!accorded!to!religious!actors!appeared!at!the!time!relatively!insignificant!when!
seen!in!the!context!of!the!country’s!demography;! but! over! time! those! benefiting! from! the!
privileges!have!become!a!potent!electoral!force,!a!development!which!has!enabled!them!to!
expand!their!privileges!further.!The! year! 1948! created! a!distinctively!ambiguous!pattern!of!
path!dependency!by!virtue!of!the!indefinite!postponement!of!a!decision!over!the!fundamental!
nature!of! the!state,!which!protracted!the!conflict!to!a!point! where!agreement!on!a! written!
constitution!would!now!appear!to!be!further!from!realization!than!ever.!
As!Shylashri!Shankar! demonstrates! in! her!chapter!on!India,!a!major!concern!for! the!
Constituent! Assembly! and!the! dominant! Congress! party! leadership! was! how!to! douse!the!
flames!of!religious!strife!between!Hindus!and!Muslims!resulting!from!the!1947!partition,!while!
simultaneously!delivering!a!measure!of!social!justice!to!the!discriminated!Hindu!castes.!The!
conflicting!views! in!the!Assembly!debates!introduced!a!stubborn!vein!of!ambiguity!into!the!
Constitution,! which! committed! the! state! on! the! one! hand! to! ensure! social! justice! by,! for!
example,! eliminating! the! practice! of! untouchability,! while! on! the! other! hand! promising!
religious!freedom!to!all!groups.!Ultimately,!the!constitution!provided!no!definitions!of!such!
key!terms!as!“Hindu,”!“religion,”!“secular,”!and!“minorities,”!and!left!it!to!the!courts!and!the!
crafters!of!legislative!amendments!to!do!so.!The!path-dependent!pattern!introduced!by!these!
decisions!can!be!seen!in!the!debates!around!the!Uniform!Civil!Code!and!the!reform!of!the!
Hindu!Code!Bill!in!1954–1955,!which!forced!Buddhists,!Jains,!and!Sikhs!to!follow!Hindu!law.!
Indonesia! presents! a! case! of! unusual! stability! in! respect! of! its! initial! constitutional!
settlement:! what! was! proposed! just! six! weeks! before! the! country’s! promulgation! of!
independence!on!August!16,!1945!(and!significantly!altered!in!a!last!minute-intervention!just!
one!evening! prior),!proved!to!establish!a! constitutional!legacy!that!has!stubbornly!endured!
until!today.! The! unique! formula!of!a! principle! of!pancasila!that! identifies! Indonesians! as!a!
religious! citizenry,! bound! by! their! faith! in! the! “one! God”! without! specifying! a! particular!
religion,! has! provided! the! cornerstone! of! religion–state! relations! until! this! day.! After! the!
country! democratized! in! 1998,! pancasila! was! reaffirmed! by! constitutional! amendment.!
Although!opting!for!an!Islamic!alternative!has!frequently!been!debated!in!the!country’s!post-
independence! history,! the! argument! that! Islamic! law! should! become! “a”! (or! even! “the”)!
source!of!public!law!never!prevailed.!Despite!this!constitutional!legacy,!the!status!of!religious!
law!has!dramatically!changed!in!the!realm!of!family!law!in!the!post-independence!period.!In!
the!1970s! Islamic!courts!were!officially!recognized!and! a!marriage!law!passed!that! foresaw!
!
!
18!
separate!provisions!for!Muslims!and!non-Muslims.!Until!1989!the!decisions!of!Islamic!courts!
(which!adjudicate!family!law)!could!be!invalidated!by!civil!courts,!but!this!changed!when!the!
Islamic! courts! were! elevated! to! courts! of! first! instance! with! their! own! tier! for! appeals.!
Expanding!the! prevalence!of!Islamic!law!further,!a!2004!decentralization!law! permitted!the!
smaller!administrative!units!of!the!country!to!pass!their!own!laws,!in!the!aftermath!of!which!
numerous!mandatory!zakat!provisions,!veiling!laws,!curfew!laws,!alcohol!bans,!and!limits!on!
press! freedom,! were! introduced,! all! justified! with! reference! to! Islamic! provisions.! While!
Indonesia! remains! constitutionally! a! quasi-secular! state,! its! legal! reality! has! become!
significantly!more!coloured!by!religious!provisions!in!the!past!twenty!years.!
Until! recently,! Egypt! also! provided! a! case! of! relative! stability! in! the! field! of! state–
religion!relations:!the!overthrow!of!the!Egyptian!monarchy!in!1952!by!a!group!of!young!army!
officers! inaugurated! a! period! of! military! rule! and! Arab! nationalism! which! was! to! last! for!
almost!sixty!years,!until!the!revolution!of!2011!led!to!the!deposition!of!Hosni!Mubarak.!From!
the!1970s!onward,!the!earlier!designation!of!the!state!as!Islamic!was!given!more!content!with!
the!requirement!that!shari‘a!be!regarded!as!“a”!and!then!“the!chief”!source!of!legislation.!But!
according!to!Gudrun!Krämer,! the! distinctly! ambiguous!outcome!before!the!crisis,!following!
the!election!of!the!Muslim!Brothers’!Mohammed!Morsi!as!president!and!his!deposition!by!
the!military!only!a!year!later,!has!been!that!in!Egypt!“the!state!is!secular!(i.e.,!non-clerical)!in!
structure!and!composition!but!it!is!not!neutral”!(Chapter!12:!000).!
The! lessons! to! be! drawn! from! this! review! of! contrasting! patterns! of! state–religion!
relations!over!time!are!two-fold.!First,!it!lends!credence!to!the!claim!that!state!constitutions!
create!path!dependencies!in!religion–state!relations,!at!least!as!far!as!the!constitutional!text!
is!concerned.!Only!very!rarely!have!countries!moved!from!declaring!the!character!of!the!state!
to!be!religious! where!it!was!previously!secular! or!vice!versa.!In!fact,!as! others!have!shown,!
the!constitutions!of!the!twentieth!century!tend!to!maintain!similar!provisions!in!religion–state!
relations!to!those! adopted! by! their!predecessors.!Indeed,!it!would! appear! that! no!country!
since!1990!has!disestablished!religion! as!a!source!of!law!where!it!had!been!recognized!as!a!
source!of!law!in!the!immediately!preceding!constitution!(Künkler,!Lerner,!and!Shankar!2015).!
In!this!regard,!path!dependencies!do!appear! to! be! created! in! those! foundational! moments!
after!the!end!of!colonial!rule,!civil!war,!or!revolution.!What!this!observation!does!not!capture,!
however,!is!that!constitutional!religion–state!relations!are!often!significantly!modified!in!their!
implementation! below! the! level! of! state! constitutions! (Künkler! and! Sezgin! 2016).! This!
introduces! a! second! observation! thrown! up! by! these! cases:! which! is! that! religion-state!
relations! as! specified! in! constitutional! texts! are! often! significantly! modified! by! sub-
constitutional! interventions,! such! as! ordinary! legislation! (which! establishes! religion-based!
family!law!in!the!case!of! Indonesia,! for! example),! bureaucratic! provisions!(which,!as!in!the!
case!of!Israel,!require!citizens!to!register!in!an!officially!recognized!religion!or!otherwise!lose!
access!to!state! resources!–!education,!health!provision,!pensions,! etc.),!or!court!judgments!
(as! in! the! case! of! India,! where! court! rulings! have! stipulated! that! someone! who! eats! beef!
cannot!be!considered!a!Hindu).!
#
The#Limits#of#Using#Constitutions#as#Measures#of#Secularity#I#
!
A! significant! feature! of! the! picture! emerging! from! this! comparative! discussion! of! critical!
junctures!and!path!dependencies!is!that!only!three!foundational!settlements!have!remained!
true! to! their! original! character:! Japan! in! 1946,! Morocco! in! 1948,! and! Iran! in! 1979.! Their!
!
!
19!
constitutions! qualified! these! countries! as! either! secular! or! religious,! and! the! fundamental!
nature!of!religion–state!relations!have!remained!stable!thereafter.!
In!the! eight! other!cases,! formally! secular!settlements! were! later! undermined.!Four!
moved! to! adopt! measures! of! more! or! less! heavy! state! control! over! religion,! while! in! the!
remaining!four!cases!political!elites!conceded!state!functions!to!religious!authorities.!None!of!
these!eight,!in!other!words,!can!be!said!to!safeguard!the!stipulations!of!Alfred!Stepan’s!“twin!
tolerations,”!according! to!which! religion! and!state! grant!space! to! one!another! in!order! to!
protect!human!rights.14!
In!all!eight!of!these!cases,!the!nature!of!religion–state!relations!changed!significantly!
despite!ostensible!constitutional! continuity,! a! fact!which!indicates!that! constitutions! taken!
alone! are! not! a! reliable! measure! for! indices! of! Secularity! I.! A! constitution! may! guarantee!
religious!freedom,!and!create!a!formally!secular!executive!power,!but!if!religion-based!private!
law!prohibits! interfaith!marriage,! if!bureaucratic! regulations! force! citizens! to! identify! with!
state-recognized! categories! of! religion,! and! if! courts! deem! certain! practices! of! religious!
believers!to!be!heretical,!the!formal!provision!of!religious!freedom!in!the!constitution!carries!
little!weight.!The!indices!of!Secularity!I!discussed!in!connection!with!Table!16.1!do!also!take!
into!account!a!number!of!indicators!aside!from!constitutions,!including!ordinary!legislation,!
bureaucratic! regulations,! and! court! judgments.! Nonetheless,! the! constitutional! status! of!
religion!is!usually!given!disproportionate!weight!as!an!independent!variable,!while!in!eight!of!
eleven! cases! surveyed! here! the! constitutional! status! of! religion! has! meant! little! when!
compared! to! the! legal! reality.! The! results! of! this! survey! would! therefore! suggest! caution!
against! taking! constitutional! clauses! on! religion! as! reliable! indicators! of! the! nature! of! a!
country’s!religion-state!relations.!
#
Accounting#for#the#Contrasting#Patterns:#Alternative#Approaches#
!
In!1970,!Donald!E.!Smith!argued!that!different!paths!toward!what!he!called!“the!secularization!
of!the!polity”!(for!him,!“the!most!fundamental!structural!and!ideological!change!in!the!process!
of!political!development”)!could!be!accounted!for!by!the!unique!combinations!of!ideational!
and!structural!features! found! in!Muslim,!Hindu,!Buddhist,! and! Roman!Catholic!third-world!
religions!and!societies!(Smith!1970).!He!saw!each!of!the!four!systems!as!“a!distinct!complex!
of! belief,! ritual,! socioreligious! institution,! and! ecclesiastical! organization”! and! argued! that!
“the!differences!among!them!produce!very!different!political!consequences”!(ibid.:!5).!Almost!
fifty!years!on!–!and!with!many!of!the!assumptions!of!modernization!theories!now!seriously!
undermined!–!only!a!small!number!of!comparativists!have!attempted!to!provide!explanations!
for! the! complex! series! of! contrasting! patterns! of! secularity! which! have! since! actually!
eventuated.!Among! these,!the!main!focus! has!been!(unlike!Taylor’s!deep!engagement!with!
key!developments! in! the! world! of!ideas)! more! on!the! role! of! structural! than!of! ideational!
factors:! in! particular,! the! existence! or! absence! of! particular! legal! traditions;! the! location,!
resources,!and!modus! operandi! of!principal!actors;!the!power!of!transnational!institutional!
diffusion;! and! the! resulting! institutional! arrangements! intended! to! address! perennial!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14!Alfred! C.! Stepan,! Religion,! Democracy,!and! the! Twin! Tolerations,!Journal! of! Demo cracy,! Volume! 11,!
Number!4,!October!2000,!pp.!3757,!reprinted!and!expanded!as!chapter!11!The!World!s! Religious!Systems!
and! Democracy:! Crafting! the! Twin! Tolerations,”! in! Alfred! C.! Stepan,! Arguing! Comparative! Politics,! Oxford!
University!Press,!2001.!
!
!
20!
problems!of!modern!polities.!The!following!reviews!three!such!approaches!in!the!light!of!the!
case!studies.!
!
Keddie:&Secularization&Harder&in&the&Scriptural&Monotheistic&Religions&
Nikkie!Keddie!has!observed! that!while!secularization!has!permeated!the!Muslim!world! less!
than!Taylor’s!North!Atlantic!world,!it!is!actually!the!societies!of!non-!and!poly-theistic!religious!
traditions! that! in! her! reading! have! embraced! secularization! with! least! resistance! (and,! by!
implication,!even!more!easily!than!Western!Christianity):!
Islamic! history! is! different! from! Western! Christian! history,! partly! because!
modernizing!trends!began! earlier!and!have!been!more!gradual! in! the!West,!and!
also!because!Islam!has!not!had!a!strong!secular!legal!tradition.!These!are!two!of!
the!factors!that!have!made!secularization!more!difficult!and!contentious!in!recent!
decades! in! the! Islamic! world! than! in! the! West,! while! all! the! main! scriptural!
monotheistic!religions!have!been!more!resistant!to!secularization!than!have!other!
religious!traditions!(Keddie!1997,!p.!27).!
The!case!studies!largely!confirm!the!first!part!of!Keddie’s!thesis!–!i.e.!that!both!more!abrupt!
modernizing! trends! and! the! absence! of! a! strong! secular! legal! tradition! have! made!
secularization!more!difficult!and!contentious!in!the!Muslim!world!than!in!the!West.!They!tend!
to!corroborate!the!two!reasons!she!invokes!–!namely,!the!abrupt!onslaught!of!modernization!
starting!in!the!early!twentieth!century,!which!provoked!significant!societal!backlash,!and!the!
dominant!role!of!religion! in! legal! traditions,!which!in!the! modern! state! has! translated!into!
religion!being!a! source!of!private!and!often! also!law.!However,!the!case!studies! only!partly!
confirm!the!second!part!of!her!thesis,!according!to!which!non-!and!poly-theistic!societies!have!
been!less!resistant!to!secularization!processes!than!their!monotheist!counterparts.!Following!
Keddie’s! logic,! one! would! expect! the! societies! of! Japan,! China,! and! India! with! their! poly-
theistic!and! non-theistic!traditions!to!feature!more!advanced!levels!of!secularization!today.!
Yet,!this!general!thesis!appears!to!be!challenged!by!the!case!studies!of!India!and!Russia!rather!
than!confirmed.!While!China!and!Japan!are!the!societies!most!secularized!on!the!societal!level!
(Secularity!II),!India!fares!low!on!three!of!four!indicators,!tending!towards!the! lower!end!of!
Secularity!II!(Table!16.2),!with!Russia!in!between!these!poles.15!In!terms!of!Secularity!I,!only!
Japan!features!high!levels!with!little!state!interference!into!the!religious!field,!while!China,!
Russia!and!India!all!regulate!religion!today!with!limited!protection!of!religious!freedom,!and!
so!exhibit!moderate!to!low!levels!of!Secularity!I.!While!according!to!Keddie’s!thesis,!Russia’s!
Eastern! Orthodox! tradition! as! being! monotheist! and! scriptural! should! have! been! more!
resistant!to!secularization!than!those!of!the!poly-!and!non-theistic!traditions!of!Japan,!China!
and!India,!this!is!not!substantiated!by!the!case!studies.!!
The! observed! levels! of! secularity! in! the! Japanese! case! also! map! onto! Keddie’s!
taxonomy!only!partly.!After!World! War! II,! separation! between! the!institutions!of!the!state!
and!of!religion!was!mandated!by!the!victorious!USA!in!a!manner!which!has!the!continuing!
effect!that! the! state’s! involvement!with!religion! is! uniquely!low!compared! to! all!the!other!
cases! studied! (Table! 16.1).! These! formal! requirements! contrast! starkly! with! the! pre-war!
situation!when!state!Shinto!was!enforced!as!a!national!cult.!Given!the!determining!role!of!US!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15!The!observations!regarding!both!Secularity!I!and!II!are!complicated!by!the!caveats!discussed!in!the!appendix:!
while!both!should!be!seen!as! multi-!rather!than!one-dimensional,!the!measurement!of! Secularity!II!faces!the!
additional!challenge!of!operating!on!the!basis!of!a!concept!of!religiosity!whose!universalizability!is!questionable.!
If!anything,!then,!Keddie’s!thesis!would!require!further,!more!systematic,!probing!on!a!higher!level!of!conceptual!
nuance!than!extant!indices!allow!for.!
!
!
21!
constitutional!advisors!in!designing!religion–state!relations!after!World!War!II,!and!thus!laying!
down!the! bases!for! Secularity! I,!it! seems!difficult! to! ascribe! the! advance!of! Secularity! I! to!
factors!associated!with!the!nature!of!Japanese!religious!traditions.!Similarly!problematic!for!
Keddie’s!thesis,! the!observed!levels!of!religious!belief! and!practice!remain!moderately!high!
(thus,!moderate!Secularity!II).!
Finally,!India,!despite!its!poly-theistic!traditions,!has!features!that!place!it!closer!to!the!
six!Muslim! cases! than!Japan! and! China.! Even!though! the! independent!state! reformed! and!
secularized!much!of!Hindu!law,!the!law!still!sees!the!individual!citizen!fundamentally!through!
the!lens!of!religious!identity!(Art.!25,2!(b)!of!the!Indian!constitution).!The!same!must!be!said!
about! monotheist! Israel,! where! the! continuation! of! Ottoman! millet-style! arrangements! in!
personal!law! and!the! maintenance! within! the! majority! community! of!the! authority!of! the!
Orthodox!Rabbinate! significantly!qualify! the! country’s!claims! to! instantiate! Secularity! I.!As!
Table!16.1!indicates,!both!India!and!Israel!feature!low!levels!of!Secularity!I.!
Seen!in!a!perspective!stretching!over!several!centuries,!what!appears!to!be!the!basic!
intuition! behind! Keddie’s! thesis! can! be! seen! to! have! more! substance.! Our! cases! certainly!
confirm!that!where!a!religion!has!a!strong! legalistic! tradition,! it! has! been!difficult!to!break!
with!this!entirely.!Levels!of!Secularity!I!are!generally!lower!in!countries!with!such!traditions,!
because!elements!of!the!legal!system!often!still!reflect!the!influence!of!religious!norms!and/or!
authorities! (usually! in! family! law,! and! sometimes! also! in! constitutional! law).! Beyond! this!
fundamental!linkage,!however,!it!seems!difficult!to!extrapolate!from!the!nature!of!religious!
traditions!to!the!likely!emergence!of!particular!levels!of!Secularity!I,!II,!or!III!outside!the!West.!
This!is!predominantly!so!because,!as!far!as!the!twentieth!century!is!concerned,!the!role!of!the!
state!has!been!constitutive!in!deciding!the!place!and!role!of!religion!in!public!life.!With!all!its!
regulations!on!citizenship!and!laws!on! societal! organizations,! on! public! space,!on!marriage!
and! inheritance,! it! has! been! the! dominant! player! in! determining! levels! of! Secularity! I,!
irrespective! of! whether! societies! are! in! their! majority! mono-,! poly-,! or! nontheistic,! and!
whether!these!are!scriptural!or!not.!Keddie!herself! acknowledges! this! predominant! role! of!
the! state! when! she! writes! that! modern! secularization! processes! “[have]! been! more!
influenced!by!government!action!than!by!autonomous!societal!changes”!(1997:!22).!For!her,!
this!priority!of!the!political!deserves!particular!recognition!because!“the!very!strengthening!
of! a! state! demanded! by! modern! economies! requires! considerable! state! control! of! public!
education,!civil!law,!welfare!and!other!spheres!that!is!more!secular!than!anything!that!existed!
in!the!past”!(1997:!24).!In!sum,!the!case!studies!confirm!her!prioritization!of!state!action!and!
policy!in!determining!levels!of!Secularity!I!(and,!we!would!add,!III),!while!correlations!between!
the!character!of!particular!religious!traditions!and!levels!of!Secularity!II!cannot!be!confirmed.!
!
Demerath:&The&Key&Role&of&the&Actors&Driving&Secularization&
Like! Keddie,! Jay! Demerath! has! been! interested! in! comparing! connections! between!
secularization!and!diverse!religious!traditions,!partly!out!of!a!frustration!that!the!great!bulk!
of! secularization! studies! have! focused! on! religious! phenomena! in! the! West.! In! 2001,! he!
introduced! a! four-part! typology! for! models! of! secularization,! organized! around! two! axes:!
whether!secularization!was!driven!by!external!or!internal!forces,!and!whether!it!was!directed!
from! above! or! driven! by! social! forces! from! below.! He! identified! the! four! types! of!
secularization!that!emerge!from!the!cross-cutting!combinations!as!emergent!(internal–non-
directed),! diffuse! (external–non-directed),! coercive! (internal–directed),! and! imperialist!
!
!
22!
(external–directed).16!As!he!conceded,!aspects!of!all!four!types!can!be!seen!at!work!in!each!
and!every! case!of!secularization;!nevertheless,!one! of!the!four!will!be!dominant! in!any!one!
particular!episode!of!a!society’s!history.!Only!one!of!the!authors!in!this!volume!has!identified!
the!secularization! processes!of!their!case!study!to!be!overwhelmingly!driven! by!external!as!
opposed!to! internal!forces!–!namely,! Japan.!In!all!the! other!cases,!even!though! local!actors!
have! responded! to! outside! influences,! pressures,! and! interferences,! authors! have!
overwhelmingly!identified!domestic!forces!as!the!drivers!of!secularization!processes.!As!such,!
most! chapters! are! either! case! studies! of! emergent! (bottom-up)! or! coercive! (top-down)!
secularization.17!
In!China,!Turkey,!and!the!Soviet!Russia,!secularization!was!to!a!large!extent!coercive,!
strongly!shaped,!and,!by!many!means,!imposed!from!above.!In!all!three!cases,!it!was!mostly!
the!executive!that!devised!secularizing! policies! (in! law,! education,!property!regimes).!They!
therefore!most!closely!fit!Demerath’s!model!of!coercive!secularization.!
In! India,! Egypt,! Israel,! and! Indonesia,! elements! of! both! emergent! and! coercive!
secularization! can! be! found.! In! all! four! cases,! the! national! movements! were! intent! on!
transcending! either! internal! religious! divides! (India,! Egypt,! and! Indonesia)! or! the! secular–
religious!divide!(Israel),!and!thus!did!not!espouse!a!vision!of!the!future!independent!state!that!
would! be! strongly! oriented! around! religious! life.! In! this! regard,! they! endowed! the! early!
republican! governments! with! a! secularist! bent:! the! orientation! of! these! nations’! founding!
fathers! translated! into! classic! secularist! policies.! That! is,! secularization! that! had! been!
emergent! among! particular! elite! milieux! fed! a! later! coercive! state-driven! secularization!
process.!In!all!four!societies,!secularizing!policies!were!later!complemented!and!in!some!areas!
replaced!by!policies!promoting! religious! life! (state!funding!for!an!ever! expanding! sector! of!
private!religious!education!in!Israel!or!the!elevation!of!shari‘a!to!the!main!source!of!public!law!
in!Egypt).!
In! Iran,! Pakistan,! and! Morocco! some! secularization! pressures! have! recently! arisen!
within!society!(cp.!Demerath’s!emergent!secularization),!partly!in!response!to!governmental!
policies!of!Islamization.!At!the!same!time,!it!is!clear!that!the!Iranian!and!Pakistani!Islamization!
policies!were!themselves!consequences!of!earlier!societal!pressures!(pressures!among!both!
elites!and!a!larger!public)!in!favor!of!a!greater!role!for!Islam!in!public!life.!The!two!countries!
therefore! feature! strong! currents! of! both! bottom-up! Islamization! and! bottom-up!
secularization,!the!former!of!which!translated!into!governmental!policies,!while!the!latter!has!
remained,!until!now,!largely!suppressed.!
One! weakness! of! Demerath’s! approach! is! that! while! it! sheds! light! on! actors! and!
processes,!it!has!little!to!say!regarding!the!effects!of!secularizing!policies.!Should!one!assume!
that!coercive!secularization!leads!to!high!Secularity!I!and/or!II?!Few!would!contest!the!overall!
classification!of!Atatürk’s!Turkey!as!one!of!coercive!secularization,!for! example,! but! as! Bâli!
shows,! it! also! involved! placing! religion! in! the! service! of! the! state:! religion! was!
instrumentalized,! as! well! as! being! banished! from! public! life.! Despite! decades! of! coercive!
secularization,! the! Turkish! case! did! not! develop! high! levels! of! Secularity! I,! nor! is! Turkish!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16!Under!secularization,!he! understands! “a! process! of! change! by! which!the!sacred!gives!way! to! the! secular,!
whether!in!matters!of!personal!faith,!institutional!practice,!or!societal!power.!It!involves!a!transition!in!which!
things!once!revered!become!ordinary,!the!sanctified!becomes!mundane,!and!things!other-worldly!may!lose!their!
prefix”!6566.!
17!The!latter!category!need!not!apply!to!authoritarian!environments!only.!Demerath!gives!the!example! of!the!
First! Amendment! to! the! U.S.! constitution! which! can! be! interpreted! as! having! established! a! top-down!
secularization!policy.!
!
!
23!
society! today! characterized! by! high! levels! of! Secularity! II.! While! Demerath! offers! a! useful!
typology! of! the! sources! and! course! of! secularization! processes,! how! these! interact! with!
effects!remains!unexamined.!Further,!one!may!note!that!since!overall!the!case!studies!attest!
to! the! central! place! of! the! state! in! processes! of! secularization,! and! since! –! globalization,!
international! diffusion,! interdependence,! and! external! pressure! notwithstanding! –! state!
policies!are!still!overwhelmingly!determined!by!internal!rather!than!external!actors,!coercive!
(internal-directed)!secularization!emerges!as!the!dominant! category,! while! the! other! three!
fade!into!the!background,!a!finding!which!would!appear!to!limit!the!explanatory!potential!of!
the!typology.!
&
Wohlrab-Sahr&and&Burchardt:&Secularity&as&Responses&to&Reference&Problems&
A! third! comparative! approach! is! outlined! by! Monika! Wohlrab-Sahr! and! Marian! Burchardt!
(2012),!who!distinguish!secularization!patterns!not!by!the!nature!of!religious!traditions!(like!
Keddie)!or!the!driving!forces!(like!Demerath),!but!in!terms!of!issue!areas.!These!they!identify!
as!arising! from!four! reference!problems”:! (1)! the! problem! of! individual! freedom!vis-à-vis!
dominant!social!units,!be!they!groups!or!the!state;!(2)!the!problem!of!religious!heterogeneity!
and! the! resulting! potential! for! actual! conflictuality;! (3)! the! problem! of! social! or! national!
integration! and! development;! and! (4)! the! problem! of! the! independent! development! of!
institutional! domains! (2012:! 889).! As! the! authors! argue,! “[i]t! is! clear! that! most! of! these!
problems!are!closely!associated!to!the!formation!of!modern!societies!and!states!and!the!ideas!
on!which!they!are!founded,!whereas!at!least!the!second!also!arises!in!pre-modern!societies.!
It!is!no!accident!that!reflections!on!pre-modern!sources!of!modern!secularity!generally!begin!
here”!(2012:!887).!
Three!of!these!four!reference!problems!have!been!of!importance!in!the!cases!studied.!
As!noted!in!the!introduction!to!this!volume,!in!all!the!case!studies!conflicts!around!religious!
questions! have! intersected! with! questions! of! national! integration.! Sometimes! religion! has!
been! mobilized! for! nationalist! purposes! (post-1979! Iran),! while! at! others! it! has! been!
perceived!as!potentially!undermining!national!cohesion!(China).!Similarly,!the!negotiation!of!
individual!freedom!vis-à-vis! dominant! social! units!has!been!a!central!theme!in! all! chapters,!
particularly! where! the! state! has! been! highly! involved! in! formulating! officially! “valid”!
conceptions!of!religious!belief,!practice,!and!law,!thus!shaping!communitarian!identities.!And!
religious!heterogeneity!is!seen!to!have!emerged!as!a!factor!in!most!of!the!struggles!about!the!
proper!status!of!religion!in!public!life.!
Based!on!the!identification!of!the!three!main!“reference!problems”!of!interest!here,!
the!authors!go!on!to!distinguish!the!secular!solutions!aimed!at!resolving!these,!each!in!turn!
being!based!on!different!guiding!ideas:!secularity!for!the!sake!of!individual!freedom!is!guided!
by! ideas! of! freedom! and! individuality;! secularity! for! dealing! with! problems! arising! from!
religious! heterogeneity! is! guided! by! ideas! of! toleration,! respect,! and! non-interference;!
secularity! in! the! service! of! national! integration! is! guided! by! the! ideas! of! progress,!
enlightenment,! and! modernity;! finally,! secularity! for! the! purpose! of! promoting! functional!
differentiation!is!guided! by! ideas! of!rationality,!efficiency,!and! autonomy.! This!approach!is!
particularly!useful!for!tracing!the!evolution!of!secularizing!policies!over!time.!For!example,!in!
the! case! of! Indonesia,! such! policies! can! be! seen! to! be! motivated! by! ideas! of! progress,!
enlightenment,!and!modernity!from!the!1940s!until!mid-1950s!when!ideas!of!toleration,!and!
respect!became!more!prominent!(Künkler!and!Sezgin!2016).!And!during!the!democratization!
period!of!the!late!1990s,!many!argued!for!secularity!on!the!basis!of!freedom!and!individuality.!
!
!
24!
The!fourth!type! of! secularizing!reference!problem!is!harder!to! connect! to!particular!
policies,! precisely! because! it! is! not! inherently! a! state-driven! process.! It! is! in! essence!
Casanova’s!first!notion!of!secularization,!namely!that!of!differentiation!as!a!macro-historical!
process.!From! the! viewpoint!of! this! volume,!what! sets! the! West! apart!is! its! experience!of!
secularization! as! differentiation,! while! in! all! the! cases! studied! here! secularization! has!
predominantly!been!a!consequence!of!particular!policies!guided!variously!by!type!1,!2,!and!3!
ideas!of!the!Wohlrab-Sahr!and!Burchardt!schema.!
This!schema,!however,!does!not!easily!allow!for!causal!claims!to!be!made!about!how!
Secularity! I,! II! or! III! typically! emerge.! Like! Demerath’s,! it! elucidates! intentionality! without!
assessing!outcomes.!In!this!regard,!it!raises!questions!without!necessarily!providing!answers:!
Does! secularity! dealing! with! problems! arising! from! religious! heterogeneity! and! driven! by!
ideas!of!toleration!really!increase!societal!acceptance!of!such!values?!Does!secularity!justified!
with!reference!to!individual!freedom!really!deliver!on!this!good?!Further,!it!is!not!clear!how!
the! reference! problems! relate! to! Taylor’s! distinction! between! Secularities! I,! II,! and! III.! For!
example,!it!can!be!argued!that!reflections!on!the!sources!of!modern!secularity!are!relevant!
within!a!given!society!with!regard!to!Secularity!II!and!III,!while!they!are!largely!irrelevant!for!
Secularity! I.! Again,! this! might! be! so! because! Secularity! I! in! the! twentieth! and! twenty-first!
centuries!has!been!overwhelmingly!determined!by!state!policy,!which,!as!has!been!shown!in!
several!cases,!does!not!need!to!be!sourced!from!home-grown!ideas.!Relatedly,!one!wonders!
whether!ideas!perhaps!are!given!too!prominent!a!place.!This!is!not!to!deny!the!power!of!ideas!
or!what!Weber!calls!“ideal!interests”!in!motivating!social!action,!but!rather!to!express!caution!
about!the!possibility!of!reading!motivating!ideas!back!into!the!outcomes!of!social!action.!The!
latter!connection!is!not!linear;!it!is!nourished!by!multiple!sources,!and!interests!in!addition!to!
opportunities!may! be! just!as! important,! if! not!more! so,! than!ideas! in! explaining!particular!
outcomes.!The!case!studies!of!this!volume!suggest!that!the!study!of!ideas!needs!to!be!better!
complemented!by!the!study!of!power!relations!and!contingency!to!understand!why!particular!
secular!or!non-secular!settlements!are!being!reached.!
Finally,! Wohlrab-Sahr! and! Burchardt’s! type! 4! secularity! is! somewhat! set! apart! by!
virtue!of!the!fact!that!it!is! not! a! process! or! outcome! driven!by!any!particular!force.!As!the!
authors! observe,! “[s]ecularity! for! the! sake! of! the! independent! development! of! functional!
domains!is!rarely!the!dominant!pattern!of!an!entire!society!and!subordinates!other!motifs!of!
secularity.!It!is!rather!documented!in!a!multiplicity!of! arenas!and!developments!that,!taken!
as! a! whole! exhibit! the! same! thrust”! (2012:! 904).! There! is! an! asymmetry,! in! other! words,!
between!type!1,!2!and! 3! secularity! on! the! one!hand!and!type!4!on! the! other.! Does! type! 4!
represent!an!option!equal!to!the!other!three,!after!the!emergence!of!the!modern!state!with!
its!considerable!control!of!“public!education,!civil!law,!welfare!and!other!spheres!that!is!more!
secular!than!anything!that!existed!in!the!past”!(Keddie!1997:!24)?!It!would!appear!not.!
All! three! approaches! (Keddie,! Demerath,! and! Wohlrab-Sahr/Burchardt)! can!
conceivably!be!employed!in!complementary!fashion!for!the!purpose!of!identifying!different!
sub-fields! of! study.! One! could! ask,! for! example,! using! Demerath’s! distinctions,! whether!
responses! to! Wohlrab-Sahr! and! Burchardt’s! “reference! problem”! type! 1! is! predominantly!
driven!by!external!or!internal!forces,!from!bottom-up!or!top-down!pressures.!Similarly,!one!
can!combine!such!an!inquiry!with!the!question!of!whether!certain!“reference!problems”!are!
more!likely! to!emerge,!or!easier!to! solve,!in!some!religious!traditions! than!others!(Keddie’s!
approach).! In! fact,! Wohlrab-Sahr! and! Burchardt! do! suggest! a! civilizational! perspective!
themselves!when!they!write!that,!regarding!type!4!secularity,!“conflict!between!religion!and!
science! …! was! weaker! in! East! Asia! [than! Europe]! because! of! the! diversity! of! scientific!
!
!
25!
traditions!and! the! greater!epistemological! openness! of!religious! doctrines”! (2012:!904).!In!
addition,!one!may! combine! these!approaches!with!that!suggested!in!this! volume! by!Gorski!
and! expanded! upon! in! Künkler! and! Madeley! (2015),! which! allows! for! a! categorization! of!
religious! conflict! based! on! the! work! of! Niklas! Luhmann! and! Pierre! Bourdieu.! To! take! a!
concrete!example,!Indonesia’s!pancasila!could!be!studied!as!secularity!for!the!sake!of!national!
integration!(Wohlrab-Sahr!and!Burchardt’s!secularity!type!3),!driven!from!above!by!internal!
forces!(Demerath’s!coercive!secularization)!which!addresses!segmentary!conflict!(Luhmann)!
between!the!religious!and!non-religious!fields!(Bourdieu).!
#
Conclusions#
!
In!concluding! his!introduction! to!A' Secular' Age,! Charles! Taylor! expressed! the!hope! that!it!
“should! be! possible! some! day! to! undertake! a! study! of! the! whole! phenomenon! (of! the!
emergence!of! secularity)!on!a!global!scale.”!The!task!would!need!to!take!account!of!crucial!
ongoing!changes!associated!with!“modernity”!–!changes!of!political! structures,! democratic!
forms,!uses! of! media,!etc.!–! in! their!different!civilizational! sites! before!there! could! be!any!
question!of!global!generalization!(Taylor!2007:!21).!This!volume!can!only!claim!to!have!started!
on!such!a!mammoth!task!by!providing!some!detailed!exploration!of!the!complexities!involved!
in! eleven! significant! cases! ‘beyond! the! West’.! On! the! basis! of! this! modest! beginning,!
nonetheless,!a!few!general!and!a!number!of!particular!conclusions!emerge.!
In! general! terms,! the! case! studies! appear! consistent! with! Taylor’s! argument! that!
Western! secularization! was! critically! contingent! upon! particular! characteristics! of! Latin!
Christendom!rather!than!on!the!ineluctable!consequences!of!some!universal!multi-stranded!
process!of! modernization.!While! globalizing! trends! have! accelerated!the! spread!of! certain!
technological!and!economic!drivers!of!some!aspects!of!modernization!across!the!world,!the!
emergence! of! Secularities! I,! II,! and! III! –! let! alone! their! presence! in! combination! –! has! not!
ineluctably!followed!in!their!wake.!Rather,!in!the!late!twentieth/early!twenty-first!century!the!
trend!appears!to!have!been!to!reverse!developments!in!each!respect!–!including!even!partially!
in!the!West!itself,!where!the!renewed!political!salience!of!religious!(or!religion-related)!issues!
is! widely! in! evidence.! In! the! non-Western! cases,! however,! many! of! the! evidences! for!
Secularity! I! have! seen! a! distinct! pegging-back! of! ostensibly! secular! settlements! achieved!
earlier! in! the! wake! of! such! critical! junctures! such! as! second-! and! third-world! revolutions,!
decolonizations,!and/or!wars.!The!fact!of!many!earlier,!ostensibly!secular!settlements,!on!the!
other!hand,!piques!the!question!of!whether!those!clear!evidences!found!of!Secularity!I!outside!
the!West!should!be!seen!as!the!mere!products!of!international!diffusion!or!imposition!from!
the! West! or,! rather,! as! responses! by! local! actors! to! risks! of! domestic! social! conflict.! The!
conclusion! which! emerges! is! that,! while! both! aspects! need! to! be! taken! into! account! in!
understanding!individual!cases,!domestic!political!factors!with!their!real!legal!and!regulatory!
consequences!have!tended!–!and!tend!–!in!almost!all!cases!to!act!as!the!decisive!drivers!and!
gate-keepers!of!change.!
A!second!general!conclusion!concerns!what!has!been!called!the!differential!burdening!
of!religion!by!the!state.!Thought!of!in!simple!terms,!it!relates!to!the!observation!that!religious!
traditions!are!not!symmetrical!in!terms!of!the!“contact!surface”!they!offer!to!state!regulation.!
This! is! particularly! relevant! in! the! field! of! law:! in! the! Muslim! world,! India,! and! Israel,! the!
religious! traditions! of! Islam,! Hinduism,! and! Judaism! respectively! tend! to! place! greater!
demands!on!the!nature!and!content!of!public!law!than!is!the!case!in!those!countries!where!
Christianity,!Buddhism,!and!Chinese!religions!have!been!historically!dominant.!Thus,!with!the!
!
!
26!
expansion!of!the!regulation!of!private!and!public!spaces!on!the!part!of!consolidating!modern!
states,!religions!tend!to!be!differentially'burdened,!depending!initially!on!how!many!and!what!
type! of! regulatory! practices! were! historically! performed! under! religious! auspices! and/or!
according! to! religious! principles.! As! Taylor! notes,! by! the! time! modern! political! and! legal!
institutions!had!achieved!full!development!in!the!societies!of!Latin!Christendom,!religion!had!
already!ceased!to!define!the!operating!principles!of!the!law,!in!most!cases!even!losing!their!
monopoly!hold!over!family!law.!By!contrast,!in!all!the!Muslim-majority!countries!included!in!
this!volume,!as!well!as!among!the!Jewish!diaspora,!the!administration!of!personal!law!had!
remained! under! the! authority! of! religious! elites! prior! to! the! emergence! of! modern! state!
systems.! With! the! introduction! of! Western-style! constitutions! and! the! transplantation! of!
Western!legal!systems,!many!of!these!traditional!competencies!were!stripped!rather!abruptly!
from! religious! authorities.! Accordingly,! in! Islam-state! relations! it! has! been! in! the! field! of!
religious! law! that! the! most! profound! interference! by! the! twentieth! century! state! was!
experienced,!while!in!China,!for!example,!it!was!in!the!field!of!education.!In!India,!on!the!other!
hand,! in! the! context! of! what! the! British! had! come! to! refer! to! as! Hinduism,! such! legal!
monopolies!had!never!existed,!any!more!than!they!had!in!Buddhist!societies.!
Among!the!more!particular!comparative!conclusions!which!emerge!from!the!volume’s!
case!studies,!four!stand!out.!Firstly,!undertaking!a!distinction!between!Secularities!I,!II,!and!III!
still!appears!to!be!pivotal,! indeed! essential,! if! one!wishes!to!make!causal!claims! about! the!
place!of!religion! in! any!modern!society,!whether!in!the!North! Atlantic! world!or!beyond.!All!
three! comparative! schemata! briefly! reviewed! here! (Keddie,! Demerath,! Wohlrab-
Sahr/Burchardt)!can!most!fruitfully!be!deployed!in!comparative!research!if!they!are!used!in!
juxtaposition! with! Taylor’s! three-way! distinction! between! the! different! Secularities.! It!
appears! difficult! to! assess! the! causal! significance! of! religious! traditions! (Keddie),! actors!
(Demerath),!or!guiding!ideas!(Wohlrab-Sahr/Burchardt)!for!processes!of!secularization!unless!
it!is!specified!whether! the! latter! pertain!to!the!place!of! religion! in! public!life!(Secularity!I),!
levels!of!religious! belief! and!practice!(Secularity! II),! or! the!open!option! to! profess! unbelief!
(Secularity!III).!
Secondly,!given!that!Taylor’s!Secularity! III,!a!situation!where!believing!in!God!is!only!
one!available!option!among!many,! relies! at! least! in! part!on!the!legal!permissibility!of!open!
unbelief! (negative! religious! freedom)! and! its! societal! acceptance,! it! would! appear! all-but!
impossible!of!attainment!without!a!significant!level!of!Secularity!I!being!already! in!place.!In!
many! of! the! cases! studied! here,! citizenship! itself! is! tied! to! religious! identity,! and! the!
individual’s!relationship!to!state!institutions!mediated!through!official!religious!belonging.!It!
is! difficult! for! social! acceptance! of! unbelief! to! emerge! where! one’s! religious! identity!
determines!the!type!of!school!one!may!attend,!the!person!one!may!marry,!the!way!one!may!
or!may!not!pray,!the!vocations!one!may!choose,!how!much!one!may!inherit!compared!to!the!
opposite!sex,!etc.!Secularity!I,!in!other!words,!emerges,!at!least!judging!from!the!case!studies,!
as!a!precondition!for!Secularity!III.!
Thirdly,!as! a! number! of!other!recent! works! also!attest,!it! is! positively!unhelpful!for!
comparativists!to! think!of!Secularity!I!in!terms!of!a!mere!binary!opposition!or!even!a!single!
continuum! between! secular! and! religious! states,! as! Secularity! I! turns! out! to! be!
multidimensional.! In! one! dimension! its! presence! or! absence! can! be! assessed! in! terms! of!
state–religion!relations!which!are!conceived!not!only!in!terms!of!the!constitutional!status!of!
religion!but! also! taking!account!of! the! various!forms! of! accommodation!of!or! cooperation!
with! religious! bodies! and! officials,! and! their! roles! within! or! vis-à-vis! various! organs! of! the!
state.! A! second! dimension! affecting! the! degrees! of! (both! positive! and! negative)! religious!
!
!
27!
freedom!needs!also!to!be!included,!since!these!often!vary!independently!of!different!modes!
of!state!regulation!and!can!have!important!consequences!for!the!shaping!of!the!content!and!
the!conduct!of!affairs!in!the!public!sphere.18!
Fourthly,! the! case! studies! indicate! the! importance! for! understanding! changes! in!
Secularity! I! in! terms! of! both! foundational! moments! and! subsequent! path! dependencies.!
Ruptures!like!the!end!of!colonial!rule,!civil!war,!or!revolution!are!typically!associated!with!the!
writing!of!new!state!constitutions!that!create!path!dependencies!in!religion–state!relations.!
These!path!dependencies!are!most!prominent!in! terms! of! the! fixity! of!constitutional!texts.!
Characteristically,! no! country! since! 1990! has! managed! by! constitutional! change! to!
disestablish!religion!as!a!source!of!law!(Künkler,!Lerner,!and!Shankar!2015)!despite!significant!
social!pressures!from!below.!Religion-state!relations!in!societies!studied!in!this!volume!whose!
constitutions!were!ambiguously!worded!tended!to!over!time!swing!towards!a!greater!role!of!
religion!in!public!life,!established,!variously,!by!ordinary!legislation!(which,!as!in!the! case!of!
Indonesia,! for! example,! established! religion-based! family! law),! by! bureaucratic! provisions!
(which,!as!in!the!case!of!Israel,!required!citizens!to!register!in!an!officially!recognized!religions!
or!otherwise!lose!access!to!state!resources!–!education,!health!provision,!pensions,!etc.),!or!
court!judgments!(which,!as!in!the!case!of!India,!found!that!someone!who!eats!beef!cannot!be!
a!Hindu).!
What!explains!how!particular!sets!of!arrangements!between!religion!and!the!state!are!
fixed!in!the!first! place! is! a!question!that!has!so!far!only!been!answered!contextually.! What!
seems!clear,!in!any!event,!is!that!guiding!ideas!(à!la!Wohlrab-Sahr/Burchardt)!are!only!part!of!
the! story,! while! interests! and! opportunities! associated! with! variously! placed! actors! (à! la!
Demerath)! also! appear! to! be! important.! Keddie! has! observed! that! the! “primacy! of!
governments!in!secularization! [in!non-Western!countries]!has!been! somewhat!obscured!by!
the! fact! that! not! only! Western! but! also! indigenous! scholars! often! prefer! to! discuss! the!
achievements! of! intellectuals! rather! than! those! of! governments.! While! more! intellectuals!
preceded! governments! in! secularism! in! the! West,! even! in! this! field! scholarship! often!
overstates!the!role!of!intellectuals”!(Keddie!1997:!27).!Whether!a!particular!idea!manages!to!
become! sufficiently! important! to! define! a! constitutional! arrangement! usually! depends! on!
compromises!struck!and!interests!that!are!activated!or!alternatively!re-channelled.!Given!the!
prevalence!of!unintended!consequences!in!policy-making!and!the!multitude!of!ideational!and!
interest-based!sources!that!inform!political!decision-making,!the!attempt!to!trace!the!place!
of!religion!in!a!given!society!back!to!some!set!of!guiding!ideas!is,!it!would!seem,!bound!to!be!
quite!speculative.!!
No! author! in! this! volume! has! argued! that! it! was! an! absence! of! ideas! in! favour! of!
Secularity!III!that! accounted! for! the!absence!of!a!widely!accepted!option!to! openly! profess!
non-belief! (Secularity! III)! in! their! case! study.! Rather,! in! most! cases,! highly! contextual!
constellations! of! interests! and! institutions! precluded! the! translation! of! such! ideas! into! a!
political!order!that!is!blind!to!individual!religious!belief,!practice!and!doubt!(Secularity! I).!In!
those!cases!where!such!an!order!was!achieved,!later! social!developments!in!10!of!11!cases!
(the!exception!being! Japan)! led!to!its!dismantling.!A!key!step! towards!understanding!when!
and!how!Secularity!III!emerges,!then,!lies!in!identifying!the!conditions!under!which!local!ideas!
in!favour!of!it!successfully!translate!into!the!institutional!constellations!of!Secularity!I!that!are!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18!The!concept!of!religious!freedom!and!how!different!constructions!of!it!bear!upon!the!public!sphere!in!different!
civilizational!settings!is!a!matter!of!intense!ongoing!debate.!See!Sullivan!et!al.!2015.!
!
!
28!
necessary!to!sustain!it,!and!which!interests,!institutions!and!(counter-)!ideas!so!often!obstruct!
this!act!of!translation!and!institutional!lock-in.!
!
!
!
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Chapter
The previous chapter has critiqued the discourse on secularity when it assumes the essential differences between ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular.’ The demarcation between the ideas of ‘religion’ and ‘secularity’ is a human construct. The construction of the religious-secular distinction reflects the specific interests of those who draw the line, whereas it appears to be arbitrary for those who do not share the same interests.
Chapter
Secular society remains a popular concept in the Western world, with the separation of religion and politics, or the state, often being associated with progress, democracy, and freedom. Whilst states like France have become strictly secular in their separation of religion from public life, others such as the US, which openly criticise religious states in other parts of the world, have retained this intertwined relationship. When examining state engagements with secularism, it becomes apparent that there is no uniform model, and more importantly, no universal definition. The degree to which states identify as ‘secular’ varies, thereby reinforcing the need to recognise how secularism was introduced to states, alongside their current position on the secular spectrum. Through an exploration of secular introductions and engagements in early twentieth-century Egypt and Iran, this chapter argues that, in order to understand engagements between secularism and the state, and/or the politics, how secularism occurred across states is key. To achieve this, the chapter proposes a framework exploring internal and external introductions of secularism, and with sub-divisions assisting with understandings and classifications of various secular typologies.
Article
The literature on the development of secularism in Turkey, or laiklik , often cites the national state builders’ positivist worldviews as a principal explanatory factor. Accordingly, the legal-institutional form Turkish secularism took in the 1920s and 1930s is derived, to a large extent, from the Unionists’ and Republicans’ science-driven, antireligious ideologies. Going beyond solely ideational narratives, this article places the making of secularism in Turkey in the context of the sociopolitical contention for national-capitalist state building. In so doing, the article contributes to the latest “spatiotemporal” turn in the secularization literature, characterized by an increased attention to historical critical junctures, and sensitivity to multiple secularities occurring in Western as well as non-Western geographies. Based on a bridging of the secularization scholarship with that of state formation, and building extensively on Turkish archival material, I argue that the trajectory, fluctuations, and contradictions of secularization can be closely associated with two intertwined master processes: (1) the construction of internal and external sovereign state capacity, and (2) geographically specific trajectories of class formation/dynamics. The Turkish case demonstrates that secular settlements cannot be explained away simply by reference to the guiding ideas of actors. Contentious episodes such as civil-bureaucratic conflict, war and geopolitics, and class struggles/alliances make a significant imprint on the secularizing process.
Article
Full-text available
The article analyzes the evolution of state law pluralism in the field of personal status law in India and Indonesia in the postcolonial era. Having inherited pluri-legal personal law systems from their colonial patrons, postindependence leaders in both countries vowed to eliminate and replace pluri-legal arrangements by uniform civil law systems that would not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, custom, or religion. Despite their attempts at legal unification from the 1940s to 1960s, however, both nations today exhibit high degrees of state law pluralism in personal law. We show that plans for legal unification were abandoned in both countries in the 1970s, and that the turn away from legal unification was mostly driven by concerns of political stability and electoral politics, not, as is often argued in the literature, due to state incapacity or ideological reorientations on part of the ruling elite.
Article
Full-text available
The article addresses the relevance of Charles Taylor’s analysis in his influential magnum opus A Secular Age (2007) to those parts of the world which are not included in the North-Atlantic world on which he concentrates. It does so by discussing issues arising from case studies of Asian, African and Middle Eastern contexts where the impact of different types of secularity varies in terms of its incidence, intensity and scope, sometimes paralleling, often contrasting those developments Taylor found to be key in the emergence of a secular age in the West. By contrast with Taylor’s analysis, a common feature of these studies is the stress placed upon the role of political actors in promoting or contesting the secularity of the public sphere. It is argued that a useful approach to making sense of the great variety of patterns identified can be found by combining insights from Niklas Luhmann and Pierre Bourdieu in order to construct a matrix illustrating the types and levels of differentiation and contestation in and around the religious field. [Please note: This article is not part of the Volume "A Secular Age beyond the West," which focuses instead on the "marker state".]
Book
“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.