Imaginaries of Cultural Diversity and the Permanence of the Religious

Diogenes 56 (4):3-16 (2010)
Abstract
The author starts by noting a discourse that is widespread but more or less diffuse in the media and certain contemporary political and intellectual quarters, and which has to do with ‘the permanence of the religious’: according to an idea now current, the religious might be resistant to the process of secularization of civil society, because of its psychological and existential implications, or if seen as a universal, irreducible component of human culture. The author analyses the different aspects of this discourse, puts them into perspective in order to draw out their intellectual and political elements and attempts to reconstruct their historical and cultural origins and show how the refusal to historicize ‘religion’ is expressed today through various types of scientific argument coming out of the human and social sciences (arguments which appeal, for example, to the Latin concept of ‘civilization’, or the Germanic one of ( ‘Kultur’ )
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