Academic journal article Journal of Multidisciplinary Research

Secularism and Religion in Multi-Faith Societies: The Case of India

Academic journal article Journal of Multidisciplinary Research

Secularism and Religion in Multi-Faith Societies: The Case of India

Article excerpt

Book Details Sen, R., Wagner, W., & Howarth, C. (2014). Secularism and religion in multi-faith societies: The case of India. Briefs in Political Science. New York, NY: Springer, 83 pages, paperback, $54.99, ISBN 978-3-319-01921-5.

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Synopsis and Evaluation

The social psychological understanding of religiosity and secularization has been changed dramatically. Specifically, when, as of late, Muslim immigration has pushed Western communities to re-think, at least partially, the traditional separation of church and state. This revolutionary shift raises the question of a dichotomist conception that ultimately sharply divides secularreligious beliefs, since the public became exposed to whatever level of benevolence governments have shown in reference to their religious public attitudes. Societies often position these events - putting pressure to integrate minority groups; thus, from the same perspective of thinking, there is an idea that becomes popular, which is that groups of faith have a monolithic influence over their members. This book questions those thoughts, as it shows studies identifying recent competing representations of secularism as a social-psychological phenomenon, as it identifies the dimension about the secularization of religious institutions - their organization within puzzling problems - and builds a research design that reaches beyond the divisions of knowledge and understanding examining the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India as it links to the related issues of religion and secularism in multi-faith societies.

The authors present a research design that reconstructs specific knowledge from respondents of both genders living in the city of Mumbai regarding three main anchoring points: communication, representations, and the day-to-day living of a shared faith. The text points to the different ways in which people open themselves to modern ideas or prefer to adhere to traditional belief systems. The text also indicates the importance of taking a deeper look, going past the situation of conflicting ideology, in which scientific research is able to permeate a culture only on a gradual basis, as new ideas run upstream, counter to longstanding cultural beliefs. The text also discusses the ways in which people are prone to take conflicting viewpoints of a certain issue depending on various cultural situations.

This book is an excellent resource for the formulation of policies focusing on conflict resolution, an inspiration for interventional thinking, which radiates new ideas for the development of a theoretical body in social psychology. …

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