Transformations of Religion and the Public Sphere

Part of the series Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series pp 1-13

Introductory Notes

  • Rosi Braidotti
  • , Bolette Blaagaard
  • , Tobijn de Graauw
  • , Eva Midden


This collection of edited essays aims to explore the so-called ‘postsecular condition’ from a variety of disciplinary angles and from different but intersecting theoretical and political perspectives. Originally coined by Jürgen Habermas, the term ‘postsecular’ has been adopted in a broad range of intellectual and theoretical traditions and has gained widespread currency. Of pivotal importance in this discourse is the ‘secularization myth’, so prominent in the West, which has been questioned by recent religious resurgence. This myth connects secularism with progress and modernity on the back of religious backwardness (Jakobsen and Pellegrini, 2008). Secularism is moreover counted among the ideologies that spell danger to democracy in Europe by not sufficiently recognizing the importance of religious and multicultural identities and their implications for active citizenship (Modood, 2007). The postsecular turn seeks to provide a counter-discourse to the myth of secularism by developing a variety of critiques of the myth grounded in discussions on the current political, social, and technological condition in which Europe, in particular, and the Western world more generally, finds itself. What the concept — the postsecular — means and stands for, however, is far from clear. Even though much has been written recently on the postsecular turn or condition, there is no agreement on how to conceptualize the term and connect it to current developments in our societies.