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|Title:||For God’s Sake! Rethinking Secularism in Australia|
Department of Government and International Relations
|Abstract:||This dissertation proposes a new way of thinking about Muslims, religion and politics in Australia. It critically engages those commentators, academics and politicians who in recent years have used the language of ‘secularism’ to denounce publicly what they see as a major social and political threat posed by Australia’s growing Muslim population. The worn-out nineteenth-century ideology of secularism they draw upon presupposes the irrational primitivism of religion and fails to recognise present-day counter-trends. It should be rejected. This dissertation calls for a radical rethinking of the appropriate relations between religion and politics in a democratic society like Australia. It suggests that the principle of ‘religious secularity’ might be the answer: a new twenty-first century secularism which has room for the public flourishing of religions at the level of society, but maintains the independence of the state from religion. The dissertation shows, contrary to common perceptions, and despite the resilience of their highly visible and public religiosity, that Australia’s large Muslim communities overwhelmingly support the autonomy of state institutions from religious influence, and that they are important protagonists of the new secularism.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Department of Government and International Relations|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis|
|Type of Work:||Thesis, Honours|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses - Government and International Relations|
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