A debate concerning the status of secularism as a comprehensive doctrine

Altundağ, Ahmet
Secularism is usually defined as the separation of politics and religion. The prevalent approach to secularism is to conceive it as a political principle. The main goal of this research is to illuminate the insufficiency of this definition. Secularism reflects a more holistic, and comprehensive attitude than being solely a political principle. It has a strong disposition to be a worldview that is concerning the wellness of humankind in this world rather than the other world. The chief and foremost feature of secularism is to reject the institutional authority of religion. Simultaneously, to consolidate its power, secularism ought to be authoritative and exclusionary to a certain extent. The main thesis in this research: secularism is an authoritative discourse that has an intrinsic inclination to operate as an ideology that is exclusionary to religion. This is assessed along with the following subject matters: (1) the origin of secularism in the 19th century, (2) the impasse of constitutional secularism when confronting the moderation of secularism as accommodation of religion, (3) the attempts to curb the comprehensiveness of secularism.
Citation Formats
A. Altundağ, “A debate concerning the status of secularism as a comprehensive doctrine,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.