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Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies

Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies brings together the two recently much discussed concepts in its title and explores them through a number of case studies.

 

Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies brings together the two recently much discussed concepts in its title and explores them through a number of case studies. The introduction by Massimo Rosati and Kristina Stoeckl, the volume’s editors, provides a useful recapitulation of these two ideas and draws attention to their potential links. The framework of multiple modernities, as developed by Shmuel Eisenstadt and further articulated by a number of his colleagues and students, contains many advantages over its intellectual alternatives. While it allows the comparative analysis of the modern features of different world societies, it has a much less rigid structure than classical modernization theory. The latter assumed that all societies would follow more or less the same (Western) trajectory of modernization and eventually converge in their cultural and institutional features. The multiple modernities model avoids the ideological underpinnings of its precursor by positing that each society selectively appropriates and interprets the cultural program and institutional patterns of modernity in line with its preexisting cultural characteristics.

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