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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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Comparative Insights Regarding Religion and Democracy in a Muslim Context

Comparative Insights Regarding Religion and Democracy in a Muslim Context

Chapter:
(p.149) Comparative Insights Regarding Religion and Democracy in a Muslim Context
Source:
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism
Author(s):

Russell Powell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.003.0011

Taking his cue from Charles Taylor, Powell looks to the Republic of Turkey, and its experience of democratization, in order to investigate the type of secularization theory most amenable to the experience of Islam. As a majority Muslim nation with a strictly secular constitution, Powell finds the example of Turkey—especially its recent move from an assertive secularism (e.g., the French model) to a more passive form of secularism (e.g., the United States model)—instructive for other majority Muslim nations who are struggling with democratization (e.g., Indonesia). Powell suggests that the move from assertive to passive secularism may have a positive effect on citizens of such majority Muslim nations. The dangers that religiously motivated political parties present to democracy, however, cannot be underestimated. In the end, religion can have a transformative, prophetic voice in secular society if it continues to emphasize authenticity and justice within the structures of democratic governments.

Keywords:   assertive secularism, Catholicism, constitution, democratization, Indonesia, Islam, passive secularism, Republic of Turkey, Charles Taylor

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