Recent Publication: "Reawakening Enlightenment?" by Anders Berg-Sørensen – University of Copenhagen

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25 November 2014

Recent Publication: "Reawakening Enlightenment?" by Anders Berg-Sørensen

Berg-Sørensen, Anders. 2014: ”Reawakening Enlightenment? Contesting Religion and Politics in European Public Discourse” in Rosi Braidotti, Bolette Blaagaard, Tobijn de Graauw & Eva Midden, eds., Transformations of Religion and the Public Sphere: Postsecular Publics, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 35-52.

Religion has become more visible in the public sphere of European democracies. However, this tendency has been met by counter-reactions criticizing the role of religion in the name of the constitutive values of the European Enlightenment. The aim of this chapter is (a) to reconstruct the contestation of the Enlightenment heritage in European public discourse and (b) discuss the implications hereof for European democratic ideals. The focus will be on the secularist movement, taking the point of view that the meaning of secularism is ambiguous and subject to democratic negotiations drawing the line between religion and politics. The chapter will sketch a critical secularism articulated in accordance with the Enlightenment critique of religion including insights from the contemporary critique of secularism.