This team develops new thinking about religious diversity and secularism or laïcité. It is an interlinked component for the entire RELIGARE project in that it aims to provide a theoretical and methodological steer to and reflection of each of the other substantive research fields, while being informed by the latter’s concrete results. European State systems have been profoundly influenced by an historical shift towards secularism, developed as a way of managing religious conflict, and the limitations imposed upon scientific thought. Interestingly, these assumptions are accepted, at least by a section of the elites beyond the Euro-American sphere, although they appear to now be eclipsed by the ostensible rise of religious consciousness and expression. Meanwhile, European states and their different institutions and knowledge regimes have been profoundly conditioned by their own experiences and the dominant trends within Christianity, be it in its Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant (Lutheran, Anglican, etc.) forms, as well as having developed varying post-Enlightenment state-religion arrangements.
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