Post-Secular Piety: Interfaith Prospects and Promises

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Tengku Ahmad Hazri

Abstract

During a lecture at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia in November 2010, the British theologian Graham Ward argued that while religion in Europe’s past may have been relegated to the background, in recent years it has returned from exile and increasingly makes its presence publicly visible. Although its expression in institutionalised form, such as church attendance, remains static, the outward religiosity is now even more strongly felt. This hints at a return of religion after years of outcast from the public sphere, ushering in what is called a ‘post-secular’ age in the vocabulary of philosophers such as Jurgen Habermas, Charles Taylor and Slavoj Zizek. This means that faith-inspired activism is steadily gaining ground, and more importantly, individuals now articulate their concerns in overtly religious terms.

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