Secularisms, edited by Janet Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini, is a half-good book. The good parts contain a lot of valuable information about varieties of secularism worldwide and their problems. The bad parts, including the introduction by the editors, are overcooked postmodern drivel. It’s a wonder I didn’t give up on the book after a few pages of posturing about “the Other,” or “alterity,” or, well, you know.

Short summary: Many forms are secularism are in trouble now. According to some cutting-edge social thought, it damn well ought to be in trouble, since secularism is not properly neutral but often an imposition that restricts the full citizenship of religious people. There’s more than a grain of truth here, postmodern nonsense aside.

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