21.06.2017: Giornata di studio: The Post-Secular City. The New Secularization Debate

On June 21st, 2017, a study day with Paolo Costa took place in English on the premises of the research platform. He is currently Senior Researcher at Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento and Senior Research Fellow at the research platform Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society in Vienna. Costa is a renowned expert on J. Habermas and Ch. Taylor whose book A Secular Age he translated into Italian in 2009. At the moment he is working on his project “The Post-Secular City: Religious Pluralism, Global Consumerism, and the Future of Democracy” in the context of his Visiting Fellowship at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM). During the study day, he shared aspects of his current research on the secularism debate with the participants. His talk focused on alternative perspectives or rather paradigm shifts as to the standard theory on secularism and on how religion and modern secular rationality could be put in a different relation to each other aloof from assumptions in sociology of religion that have been overcome. Instead of deducing a total loss of meaning as a consequence for religion from the historical process of modernization, it could be more fructuous to see modernity not so much as a history of decline in which narratives lose every meaning but to understand it as cultural innovation allowing for the reconstruction and productive rethinking of the contingence in the genesis and development of religion.