Secularization as a post-metaphysical religious vocation: Gianni Vattimo's post-secular faith

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Whether we accept secularization as being sui generis to the West is not as important as whether we recognize that secularization has been central in the constitution of the West itself. Yet, the so-called resurgence of religion in contemporary societies, after centuries of putative secularization, urges us to ask whether secularization is actually unique to the West, a type of Sonderweg, that is, a societal process autochthonous to the West, and thus unlikely to take root in other social orders. The fact is that even in the so-called West, secularization itself is not to be taken for granted. While Europe can claim to be secularized, the United States has lived a recrudescence of religious belief. In the United States, in fact, cultural, political, and social identity is intricately woven with religious beliefs and practices. In Latin America, which in the second half of the twentieth century underwent a kind of second reformation that achieved its theological articulation through liberation theology, religion has remained a vital element of public and social life. It may turn out that secularization is a short-lived process, a hiatus, in a long history of religious confessions and practice. Secularization may turn out to be the exception, and not the rule of social evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBetween Nihilism and Politics
Subtitle of host publicationThe Hermeneutics of Gianni Vattimo
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781438432854
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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