Secularity, religion, and the spatialization of time

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Abstract

Although "secularity" is often contrasted with "religion" as though the distinction between them bisected society, sorting practices and people into competing kinds, their relation is better understood as analogous to that between a frame and what is framed by it: secularity so conceived is not simply the inverse, negative space of religion but the epistemic regime that enables us to speak of "religion" in the first place, as a particular object of modern interest and anxiety. Secularity, I contend, can be understood temporally as that time in which religion occupies space. This paper draws upon Walter Benjamin's concept of "Messianic time" to gain critical leverage on the temporal horizons of the nation-state and the neoliberal market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-615
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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