HOME

TheInfoList




Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
''Saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to
religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain v ...

religion
and
irreligion Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it ...

irreligion
. Anything that does not have an explicit reference to religion, either negatively or positively, may be considered secular. The process in which things become secular or more so is named
secularization In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The ter ...
, and any concept or ideology promoting the secular may be termed
secularism Secularism is the principle of seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Euro ...

secularism
.


Definitions

Historically, the word ''secular'' was not related or linked to religion, but was a freestanding term in Latin which would relate to any mundane endeavour. However, the term, saecula saeculorum
saeculōrum
being the genitive plural of saeculum) as found in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as w ...

New Testament
in the
Vulgate The Vulgate (; also called , ) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, H ...
translation (circa 410) of the original Koine Greek phrase (''eis toùs aionas ton aiṓnōn''), e.g. a
Galatians 1:5
was used in the early Christian church (and is still used today), in the doxologies, to denote the coming and going of the ages, the grant of eternal life, and the long duration of created things from their beginning to ''forever and ever''. ''Secular'' and ''secularity'' derive from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
word ''saeculum'' which meant "of a generation, belonging to an age" or denoted a period of about one hundred years. The
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
doctrine that God exists
outside time
outside time
led
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
Western culture Western culture, also known as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society, is the heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired b ...
to use ''secular'' to indicate separation from specifically religious affairs and involvement in temporal ones. "Secular" does not necessarily imply hostility or rejection of God or religion, though some use the term this way (see "
secularism Secularism is the principle of seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Euro ...
", below); Martin Luther used to speak of "secular work" as a vocation from God for most Christians. According to
cultural anthropologists Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differ ...
such as Jack David Eller, secularity is best understood, not as being "anti-religious", but as being "religiously neutral" since many activities in religious bodies are secular themselves and most versions of secularity do not lead to irreligiosity. The idea of a dichotomy between religion and the secular originated in the
European Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link=n ...
. Furthermore, since ''religion'' and ''secular'' are both Western concepts that were formed under the influence of Christian theology, other cultures do not necessarily have words or concepts that resemble or are equivalent to them. In many cultures, there is little dichotomy between "natural" and "supernatural", "religious" and "not-religious", especially since people have beliefs in other supernatural or spiritual things irrespective of belief in God or gods. Other cultures stress practice of ritual rather than belief. Conceptions of both "secular" and "religious", while sometimes having some parallels in local cultures, were generally imported along with Western worldviews, often in the context of
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
. Attempts to define either the "secular" or the "religious" in non-Western societies, accompanying local modernization and Westernization processes, were often and still are fraught with tension.See ; . Due to all these factors, "secular" as a general term of reference was much deprecated in social sciences, and is used carefully and with qualifications. One can regard eating and bathing as examples of secular activities, because there may not be anything inherently religious about them. Nevertheless, some religious traditions see both eating and bathing as
sacraments A sacrament is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marria ...
, therefore making them religious activities within those
world view upright=1.8, Religious practices will tie closely to a religion's worldview. A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thoug ...
s. Saying a
prayer Prayer is an invocation An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of: * Supplication, prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of wo ...

prayer
derived from religious text or doctrine,
worship Worship is an act of usually directed towards a . For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a God. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated . Such a ...

worship
ping through the context of a religion, performing corporal and spiritual
works of mercy Works of mercy (sometimes known as acts of mercy) are practices considered meritorious in Christianity, Christian ethics. The practice is popular in the Catholic Church as an act of both penance and charity (virtue), charity. In addition, the Met ...
, and attending a religious seminary school or monastery are examples of religious (non-secular) activities. The "secular" is experienced in diverse ways ranging from separation of religion and state to being anti-religion or even pro-religion, depending on the culture. For example, the United States has both
separation of church and state The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations Religious activities generally need some infrastructure to be conducted. F ...
and pro-religiosity in various forms such as protection of religious freedoms; France has separation of church and state (and
Revolutionary France The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

Revolutionary France
was strongly anti-religious); the Soviet Union was anti-religion; in India, people feel comfortable identifying as secular while participating in religion; and in Japan, since the concept of "religion" is not indigenous to Japan, people state they have no religion while doing what appears to be religion to Western eyes. A related term, ''
secularism Secularism is the principle of seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Euro ...

secularism
'', involves the principle that government institutions and their representatives should remain separate from religious institutions, their beliefs, and their dignitaries. Many
business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name A trad ...

business
es and
corporations A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capa ...

corporations
, and some
governments A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assemb ...
operate on secular lines. This stands in contrast to
theocracy Theocracy is a form of government in which one or more deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superna ...

theocracy
, government with
deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion), or anything revered as divine. C. Scott Littleto ...

deity
as its highest authority.


See also

*
Anti-clericalism Anti-clericalism is opposition to religious authority Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a G ...
*
Islam and secularism Secularism Secularism the principle seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular, naturalistic considerations. It is most commonly defined as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state, and may be broadened to a simi ...
*
NonsectarianNonsectarian institutions are secular institutions or other organizations not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group. Academic sphere Examples of US universities that identify themselves as being nonsectarian include Adelphi ...
*
Postsecularism Postsecularism refers to a range of theories regarding the persistence or Growth of religion, resurgence of religious beliefs or practices in the present. The "post-" may refer to after the end of secularism or after the beginning of secularism. U ...
*
Secular state A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''Saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anythin ...
*
State religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...


References


Footnotes


Bibliography

* * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * *


External links

* {{Use British English Oxford spelling, date=September 2018 Religion and society Social concepts