Religion’s public sphere: Postsecularism and the world society

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter offers a novel reading of Homer’s Iliad, not as a war poem but as an eloquent articulation of peace. The author focuses on a set of key passages in order to show that already in Homer there is reference to a post-mythological and thus secular society. At the core of this reading is the idea that the quest for justice requires the projection and articulation of a comprehensive or overarching, albeit not total, view of the world. Already in Homer, it is claimed, we find the problem of the articulation of a holistic view of society that anticipates a just society to come. Any appeal to justice is always already an appeal to some sort of universality, and universality itself entails some sort of just order, or a reasonableness for the whole to be ordered as it is ordered. The author takes up the Luhmannian concept of world society, and then relates it to the Habermasian conception of the public sphere. The aim of these cross readings is to show how in the interpenetration and synergizing between world society and public sphere, a new form of cosmopolitanism is called for, a form of cosmopolitanism that here is called “postsecular cosmopolitanism.” This is the cosmopolitanism of others that also makes it clear that one is never cosmopolitan enough.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReligion in the Era of Postsecularism
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429805387
ISBN (Print)9781138339194
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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