Plural Secular Settlements

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This essay considers the consequences of embracing a concept of a secular settlement that privileges plurality (as a fact of difference) rather than pluralism (as a single conception that grasps multiple perspectives) and that envisages law as a set of rules, to which all parties can assent, rather than the expression of a single set of overarching values that are de facto those of the majority. To do so it considers two contrasting sources, one programmatic and one historical. The programmatic account is the ‘Academic Profile’ of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, drawn up in 2007 by Ben Quash and Timothy Jenkins. The historical account is the study of European seventeenth-century plurality by Benjamin Kaplan Divided by Faith, which explores the variety of secular settlements in the period either side of the Thirty Years War. To proceed in this way is to embrace a European story, using European categories, with a view to making sense of European political challenges. This is proposed not as an exercise in Euro-centrism, as if is microcosm of the world, but as a reflection on a particular set of circumstances which may articulate forms of thinking that are capable of translation in other circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevisiting Secularization Theory
EditorsEjaz Akram, Basit Koshul
Place of PublicationKarachi
PublisherOxford University Press Pakistan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Jun 2020


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