(Post)Secularization in Modern Political Philosophy

The course explores philosophical ideas about the place and role of religion in the context of western modernity. The central topic which the course focuses on is the concept ’secularization,’ its origins, meaning, development and the critical assessment of ’secularization’ in the ’post-secularization’ discourses. Reading both primary sources and scholarly texts, students will acquire necessary knowledge and skills for analyzing the relationship between modern society and modern (nation) State and church/religion.

Efter kursen förväntas studenten:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the major modern theories of secularization;
  • Explain the reasons behind the crisis of classical secularization theories and the rise of ’post-secular’ or ’post-secularization’ discourses;
  • Analyze the relationship between religion and the socio-political sphere, between the Church and the State, in the context of western modernity

All students will be required to read the following texts (or selected chapters):

Primary Sources:

Machiavelli, Discourses (30 p.)

Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (15 p.)

Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (45 p.)

de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (80 p.)

Hobbes, Leviathan (50 p.)

Secondary texts:

Asad, Talal (2003). Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press (55 p.)

Beiner R. (1993). “Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau on Civil Religion,” in The Review of Politics, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 617-638.

Berger, Peter L. (1990). The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. New York: Anchor Books (60 p.)

Berger, Peter (Ed.) (1999). The Desecularizaion of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans. (80 p.)

Bernstein R.J. (2009). “The Secular-Religious Divide: Kant’s Legacy” in Social Research, Vol. 76 No 4, Winter 2009, pp.1035-1048.

Calhoun, Craig, et al. (Eds.) (2011). Rethinking Secularism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (120 p.)

Casanova, Jose (1994). Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (60 p.)

Cox, Harvey (2016). The Market as God. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press (250 p.)

Gentile Emilio (2006). Politics as Religion. Princeton: Princeton University Press (170 p.)

Gorski, Philip, et al. (Eds.). The Post-Secular in Question: Religion in Contemporary Society. New York: New York University Press, 2012. (80 p.)

Kateb G. (2009). “Locke and the Political Origins of Secularism,” in Social Research Vol. 76 No 4, Winter 2009, pp.1001-1034

Norris Pippa, Inglehart Ronal (2004). Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (180 p.)

Pecora, Vincent P. Secularization and Cultural Criticism: Religion, Nation, and Modernity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. (170 p.)

Safran, William (Ed.). The Secular and the Sacred: Nation, Religion and Politics. London: Frank Cass, 2003. (180 p.)

Seaman, J. W. (1999). Hobbes and the Liberalization of Christianity, Canadian Journal of Pol No. 2 (Jun 1999), pp. 227-246.

Sullivan, W. Fallers (2009). “We Are All Religious Now. Again.,” in Social Research Vol. 76 No 4, Winter 2009, pp.1181-1198.

Turner, B.S. (2011). Religion and Modern Society. Citizenship, Secularization and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (280 p.)

Additional texts/handouts may also be assigned.

Schemat finns tillgängligt senast en månad innan kursen startar. Vi rekommenderar inte att du skriver ut schemat eftersom vissa ändringar kan ske.

Öppna schemat

Adriana Bara




A = Framstående, B = Mycket bra, C = Bra, D = Tillfredsställande, E = Tillräcklig, Fx = Otillräcklig, komplettering möjlig, F = Otillräcklig


  • Hemtentamen
  • PM
  • Salstentamen
  • Seminarier

Godkända kurser för en kandidatexamen i teologi/religionsvetenskap, 180 hp, där minst 150 hp utgörs av teologi/religionsvetenskap eller motsvarande. Dessutom kunskaper i engelska motsvarande kraven för grundläggande behörighet.

Completion of a course requires a minimum of 80% attendance at lectures and 100% attendance at seminars/group work and other assignments. Absence beyond that can be compensated by supplementing assignment(s) if the instructor finds it possible. In case of an absence of 50% or more, the course is considered as interrupted, even if assignments have been completed.

If a student due to disability has a decision from the EHS on special pedagogical support, the examiner shall, if necessary, adapt the examination and conduct the examination in an alternative way.

Fastställd av Ämnesföreträdarkollegiet vid Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm den 18 december 2019.

Senast reviderad den 22 januari 2020.