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Abstract
For several decades now, commentators have sounded the alarm about ‘the crisis of secularism’. Saving the secular state from political religion, they suggest, is a question of survival for societies characterized by religious diversity. Yet it remains unclear what the crisis is all about. This book argues that its roots are internal to the liberal model of secularism and toleration. Rather than being neutral or non-religious, this is a secularized theological model with deep religious roots. The limits of liberal secularism go back to its emergence from the inherent dynamics and tensions of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. From the very beginning, this political model went hand in hand with its own modes of intolerance: an anticlerical theology that rejected Catholicism and Judaism as evil forms of ‘political religion’. In the name of public order, all religions and traditions in European societies had to reform themselves along the lines of a secularized Protestant framework. Later this normative framework gave rise to the orientalist and colonial descriptions of ‘Hinduism’ (and its ‘caste hierarchy’) as a false and immoral religion. Drawing on these descriptions, secularism was then presented as the only route forward for India, even though it often harms local forms of living together and reinforces conflicts rather than resolving them. Today’s advocacy of secularism is not the outcome of reasonable reflection on the problems of Indian society but a manifestation of a colonial consciousness that blinds us to cultural realities.
Keywords
secularism, India, Europe, religious toleration, tolerance, religious freedom, freedom of conscience, secular state, liberalism

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MLA
De Roover, Jakob. “Europe, India, and the Limits of Secularism.” Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context, edited by Aakash Singh Rathore, Oxford University Press, 2015.
APA
De Roover, J. (2015). Europe, India, and the limits of secularism. (A. S. Rathore, Ed.), Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Chicago author-date
De Roover, Jakob. 2015. Europe, India, and the Limits of Secularism. Edited by Aakash Singh Rathore. Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Roover, Jakob. 2015. Europe, India, and the Limits of Secularism. Ed by. Aakash Singh Rathore. Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Vancouver
1.
De Roover J. Europe, India, and the limits of secularism. Rathore AS, editor. Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context. New Delhi: Oxford University Press; 2015. 282 p.
IEEE
[1]
J. De Roover, Europe, India, and the limits of secularism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.
@book{5934730,
  abstract     = {{For several decades now, commentators have sounded the alarm about ‘the crisis of secularism’. Saving the secular state from political religion, they suggest, is a question of survival for societies characterized by religious diversity. Yet it remains unclear what the crisis is all about. This book argues that its roots are internal to the liberal model of secularism and toleration. Rather than being neutral or non-religious, this is a secularized theological model with deep religious roots. The limits of liberal secularism go back to its emergence from the inherent dynamics and tensions of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. From the very beginning, this political model went hand in hand with its own modes of intolerance: an anticlerical theology that rejected Catholicism and Judaism as evil forms of ‘political religion’. In the name of public order, all religions and traditions in European societies had to reform themselves along the lines of a secularized Protestant framework. Later this normative framework gave rise to the orientalist and colonial descriptions of ‘Hinduism’ (and its ‘caste hierarchy’) as a false and immoral religion. Drawing on these descriptions, secularism was then presented as the only route forward for India, even though it often harms local forms of living together and reinforces conflicts rather than resolving them. Today’s advocacy of secularism is not the outcome of reasonable reflection on the problems of Indian society but a manifestation of a colonial consciousness that blinds us to cultural realities.}},
  author       = {{De Roover, Jakob}},
  editor       = {{Rathore, Aakash Singh}},
  isbn         = {{978-0-19-946097-7}},
  keywords     = {{secularism,India,Europe,religious toleration,tolerance,religious freedom,freedom of conscience,secular state,liberalism}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{282}},
  publisher    = {{Oxford University Press}},
  series       = {{Religion and Democracy : Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in a Global Context}},
  title        = {{Europe, India, and the limits of secularism}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}