“Murat Akan has given us an incredibly thorough account of how ideas about secularism have traveled between France and Turkey and how to relate these ideas to broader understandings of the relation between religion and society. His sophisticated theoretical approach is deeply informed by his empirical research. This book will clarify many misunderstandings in the comparative study of secularism and multiple modernities. It is a must-read for scholars from a wide range of social sciences as well as for an informed public.”
~Peter van der Veer, author of The Value of Comparison
This week’s featured book is The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey, by Murat Akan. Discussions of modernity often hinge on the question of secularism, especially how it travels outside its original European context. Too often, attempts to answer this question either imagine a universal model derived from the history of Western Europe, which neglects the experience of much of the world, or emphasize a local, non-European context that limits the potential for comparison. However, in this work Akan reframes the question of secularism, exploring its presence both outside and inside Europe. Through the comparison of Turkey and France, Akan offers a rich empirical account of how secularism moves across borders and through time. We will be sharing a Q&A with Akan and and a book excerpt as part of the week long feature, but in the meantime, be sure to enter the drawing for a chance to win a copy of The Politics of Secularism.
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