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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 29, 2016

A Secular Manifesto for Europe

  • Lorenzo Zucca EMAIL logo


The article argues that secularism in Europe needs to be fundamentally reconsidered. Everywhere European secular states face a double threat: On one hand fundamentalist religion, on the other negative secularism. Firstly, the paper explains negative secularism and the reason it is a problem rather than an asset. It then elaborates a new conception of positive secularism that can be understood either as a political or as an ethical project. Either way, the point of positive secularism is to distance itself from religion in order to embrace diversity of all types, religious and non-religious. Political secularism, however, relies on an elusive hope of reaching overlapping consensus between religious and non-religious people. Ethical secularism aims instead to protect diversity by promoting the establishment of a marketplace of religions, which acknowledges a public role for religion while regulating it. The marketplace of religions promotes religious pluralism and helps to iron out the different treatments between religions. Ethical secularism aims to be a worldview of worldviews that creates the preconditions for all religious and non-religious people to live well together.

Published Online: 2016-6-29
Published in Print: 2016-5-1

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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