Lois LeeRecognizing the Non-Religious: Reimagining the Secular

Oxford University Press, 2015

by Dave O'Brien on September 14, 2015

Lois Lee

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What does non-religion mean? In a new book Recognizing the Non-Religious: Reimagining the Secular (Oxford University Press, 2015)Lois Lee, one of the editors of Secularism and Non-Religion, interrogates the role of non-religion in society, to better understand how a seemingly neutral category tells us much about the contemporary world. Positioning the research against narratives that claim society as secularised, or as increasingly post-secular, Lee's work, along with other scholars in the Non-Religion and Secularity Research Network, shows how there are varieties of secularism and non-religion prevailing today. The book is programatic, setting out a framework for engaging with non-religion as a bodily practice, as sociality, as media and as the everyday.  Moreover it offers a methodological challenge to traditions of survey research in this area. In the final chapter the book also sketches the concept of existential cultures, showing the points of intersection in the practices of the secular and non-religious, with the theistic and spiritual. The book, because it reframes our understanding of modernity itself, should be essential reading across the social sciences.

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