Secularism Background and Emergence Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Background and Emergence

  • Term first used by James Jacob Holyobe, 1851
  • Against Religion and Church
  • Acting free of religion
  • Logic replaced religion
  • With time, the word which was at first irreligious turned into secular
  • Different meanings and interpretations


  • In primitive times, religion was supreme
  • Institutions operated according to religion
  • Birth of Logic and rationality
  • New forms of knowledge
  • Free from religion or religious assumptions


  • 16th Century Renaissance
  • 18th Century Industrial and French Revolution
  • Emergence of Industries and Science
  • Logic
  • Giving up of religion slowly
  • Adaptation of secularism

Parameters of Secularization

  • Visits to religious institutions
  • Degree of power of religious leaders or organizations
  • Popularity of religious texts and literature
  • Popularity of practices which are considered as taboos in the particular religion

Religious Revivalism

  • Extremists
  • Ideology
  • To take society back to a particular epoch of time
  • Follow ancient religious texts
  • To Counter secularization
  • Eg Taliban
  • Hindrance in development and progress
  • Reactionary force

Secularism Views

  • Liberal Plural View
    • Modern Nationalists
    • Before 1947
    • Religious pluralism
    • Separation of religion and other institutions
  • Orthodox Plural View
    • Dayanand Saraswati, M. K. Gandhi
    • India always secular and tolerant
  • Marxist view
    • Secularism aimed to slain religion altogether


  • “It does not mean a society where religion is discouraged, it means freedom of religion and conscience, including freedom for those who have no religion.” – Nehru
  • Liberal Plural View adopted by Indian democracy
  • Sarva Dharma Sambhava


Q. 1. Who said, “Religion and secular cannot be separated, in other words, religion cannot be in any meaningful sense privatised” ?

i. M. N. Srinivas

ii. A. R. Desai

iii. M. K. Gandhi

iv. T. N. Madan

Answer: iv

Q. 2. In the process of secularism which of these does NOT take place

i. Distinction of social institutions

ii. Institutions getting rid of matrix of religious assumptions

iii. Religion dominating and guiding the operations of the institutions

iv. None of these

Answer: iii

#Current Debates

#Problems of Nation Building




0: 00 Secularism

0: 11 Background and Emergence of Secularism

2: 04 Introduction of Secularism

2: 56 Concept of Secularism

4: 09 Parameters of Secularization

5: 10 Religious Revivalism

6: 10 Secularism Views

7: 38 Conclusion

8: 41 MCQ about Secularism

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