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Title: Making sense of the postsecular : a normative and analytical assessment
Author: Parmaksiz, Umut
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 7395
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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In this study , I examine the concept 'postsecular' to direct it towards a path that imparts it more normative and analytical power. Contrary to the literature, which construes the concept as the 'return of religion ', I argue that postsecular has normative and analytical weight when construed as a denaturalising problematisation of the secular. I argue that such a problematisation translates in the political sphere to the conceptualisation of the secular as a form of life, which in turn creates a normative thrust to further open the public sphere to religion. This theoretical starting point allows me to examine and develop the concept along two threads: normatively and analytically. Analytically, I argue that we should understand 'postsecularisation' as a social and political process in which a 'conceptualisation of the secular as a form of life' takes place as a result of the 'problematisation of the secular'. Based on this theoretical frame, I argue that, instead of construing 'postsecular society' to refer to secular societies where religion makes a return, we should understand them as those in which there has occurred a denaturalisation of the secular. I engage with these theoretical issues in relation to Turkey. I argue that the social and political transformation associated with Adalet ve Kalkil1ma Partisi (AKP) cannot be considered as the emergence of a postsecular society. I argue that 'postsecularisation', as I construe it, provides a theoretical framework to explain Gezi Park protests which mobilised a group of secular, middle class citizens who were predominantly concerned about restrictions on their way of life / lifestyle. Normatively, I problematise the consensus in the literature, which affirms religion for the sake of peace and solidarity. As an alternative, I explore a truth-oriented affirmation of religious language with the hope of directing the concept towards this track. I use Habermas and Taylor as my interlocutors. I argue that Habermas does not develop an outlook that broadly affirms the truth-value of religious language. I find that Taylor's 'post-Heideggerian hermeneutics' is stifled due to an understanding of the self as lacking and seeking empowerment. Instead, I assert that religion can be thought of as potentially inhabiting a truth-value that can be revelatory and expressive of the human condition and defend the view that religious language is admissible to the extent that it is framed in a way that provides others with a chance to refute it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available