Paolo Costa Discusses the Prospects of Modern Secularity

03 August 2017

As a worthy close to his dual fellowship at the University of Vienna and the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Paolo Costa, Researcher at the Center for Religious Studies of FBK, held a seminar with the Fellows of the IWM (among them, Chantal Mouffe, renowned author of The Democratic Paradox).

In this event, entitled “The Post-Secular City”, Costa claimed that the secularization debate went through a big change during the last fifty years. From his point of view, this warrants the change being described as a paradigm shift. The turn has mainly to do with the debunking of the so-called secularization “theorem” (as Hans Blumenberg famously called it). More precisely, the new debate can be best described as being polarized between the “de-constructors” and the “re-contructors” of the theorem. Costa’s conclusion, broadly discussed after his presentation, was cautious, if not hesitant. His hunch is that it is unclear whether the concept is still helpful to understand what the future holds in store for us.

The activity belongs both in the research line of the Center for Religious Studies “Spirituality and Life Styles” and in the research project “Arguing Religion”.

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