Modernity and Religion

Faculteit Wijsbegeerte
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode FI213SG
Vaknaam Modernity and Religion
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Modernity and Religion: Debates on the Philosophical Problem of Secularization
Leerdoelen - Obtain knowledge of the philosophical background of debates on secularization and post-secularism;
- Analyze paradigmatic debates on the nature of secularization and modernity in continental philosophy;
- Problematize historical-philosophical narratives on secularization and modernity;
- Analyze the role of essentially contested concepts and value judgements in these debates;
- Critically assess one of these debates in a well-argued and structured essay.
Omschrijving In this course we will study the philosophical problem of secularization: the nature and status of (western) modernity vis-à-vis its religious ‘other’. We will do so by looking at some important debates from the history of continental philosophy.

In the introduction class we will briefly discuss key background figures such as Nietzsche and Weber. The rest of the classes focus on influential voices in philosophical debates on secularization, such as Karl Löwith, Hans Blumenberg and Carl Schmitt – from the German secularization debate – and Charles Taylor, Marcel Gauchet and Jürgen Habermas – from the more contemporary debate on postsecularism.

What is at stake in these debates are philosophical questions, such as: how must ‘secularization’ be understood, as the removal or transformation of religion, and what is the status of modernity vis-à-vis its religious past, i.e., is it a radical new beginning or is modernity somehow indebted to religion? But also more ‘practical’ or societal questions, like: is the role of religion in society and politics diminishing or can we see an unexpected return of religion, e.g. in new forms of spirituality? And what is the proper place of religion with regard to the public/private divide? Rather than supplying clear-cut answers to these questions we will critically reflect on earlier attempts at answering them and investigate why any answer will prove to be contestable.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm hoorcollege, werkcollege
(Each class will be part lecture, part seminar. During the seminar we will discuss the lecture, texts, and reading questions.)
Toetsvorm essay
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator dr. S.L.V. Griffioen
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Entreevoorwaarden Bachelor Philosophy, year 1 and 2.
Philosophy of a Specific Discipline: general knowledge of important themes in continental philosophy (History of Philosophy I and II completed).
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Ba Filosofie 3 semester II b keuze