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Second Edition 2012 09/08/2014 Mehmet Görmez, "Religion and Secularism in the Modern World: a Turkish Perspective"

This policy brief presents an alternative perspective on the relationship between religion and politics. The author argues that the Muslim world, which is going through a process of evaluating its own age, manifests different forms of secularism, though in an unconventional sense.

Abstract

Mehmet Görmez, "Religion and Secularism in the Modern World: a Turkish Perspective"

This policy brief presents an alternative perspective on the relationship between religion and politics by employing an inter-disciplinary framework. Identifying two problematic approaches to the role of religion in modern world - viewing religion as an artifact of the past and neglecting the everyday realities of religion - the author proposes to view religion from a more comprehensive perspective and rejects the arguments that juxtapose religion and secularization. He argues that the Muslim world, which is going through a process of evaluating its own age, manifests different forms of secularism, though in an unconventional sense. The author also dwells on various ramifications of religion in contemporary political developments and maintains that religion needs to be taken into consideration while developing policies for addressing the root causes of tensions and conflicts that arise at the national and international levels. He discusses the growing religious divide and polarization in Turkey's neighborhood, maintaining that Turkey's interpretation of religion in the contemporary age, emanating from its own tradition, offers a viable alternative.

Read the English version in full.

Résumé

Mehmet Görmez, "Religion et sécularisme dans le monde moderne : un point de vue turc"

Cette synthèse se propose de jeter un regard nouveau sur les rapports entre religion et politique à travers une grille de lecture pluridisciplinaire. Dénonçant d’emblée deux visions erronées – la religion comme simple vestige du passé ; la religion comme une abstraction universelle sans prise sur la vie quotidienne –, l’auteur développe une analyse plus large et réfute la fausse dichotomie entre religion et sécularité. Selon lui, le monde musulman est en pleine mutation, ce qui génère des formes inédites de sécularisme. Il énumère ensuite de nombreux cas – événements internationaux, guerres, tensions – où religion et politique s’entremêlent sous les formes les plus diverses, et montre ainsi qu’aucun conflit ne peut être durablement réglé si l’on omet ou néglige sa dimension religieuse. Enfin, il observe aux frontières de la Turquie d’inquiétantes rivalités d’ordre religieux, et explique en quoi la modernité religieuse turque, produit d’une longue tradition nationale, offre au monde une voie viable et pérenne.

Lisez le texte entier en français.

This policy brief presents an alternative perspective on the relationship between religion and politics. The author argues that the Muslim world, which is going through a process of evaluating its own age, manifests different forms of secularism, though in an unconventional sense.

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