Making Sense of the Postsecular

A U Parmaksiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This article critically examines the postsecular literature with the aim of dispelling the scepticism about the concept’s theoretical import, critical power and analytical utility. It first presents an overview of the literature identifying two major fields, social theology and politics, within which three major critical leitmotifs are developed: (1) disenchantment and the loss of community; (2) the impossibility of absolute secularity; and (3) the exclusion of religion from the public sphere. In the second section, the shortcomings of problematizations (1) and (2) are highlighted, originating from social theology, and it is argued that they have limited critical potential as they intend to renaturalize the religious. Instead, it is asserted that the concept has critical power when used within the context of a postreligious denaturalization of the secular. In the last section, the focus shifts to the analytical utility of the concept, and the article examines ‘postsecular society’ and ‘postsecularization’ in the light of the previous discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98
Number of pages116
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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