Secularism, the belief that religion should not be part of the affairs of the state, is an increasingly divisive topic. More than ever before, it is debated and criticized, as secular republics such as India and France face challenges from the resurgence of religious identity politics; while religious states like those of the Arab world enter into conflict with insurgent secularists. Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism from its origins in...
Oxford University Press
Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in...