Book Excerpt! The Politics of Secularism (preface)

Murat Akan has given us an incredibly thorough account of how ideas about secularism have traveled between France and Turkey and how to relate these ideas to broader understandings of the relation between religion and society. His sophisticated theoretical approach is deeply informed by his empirical research. This book will clarify many misunderstandings in the comparative study of secularism and multiple modernities. It is a must-read for scholars from a wide range of social sciences as well as for an informed public.

~Peter van der Veer, author of The Value of Comparison

In The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey, Murat Akan reframes the question of secularism, shifting the discussion from the European context to a more universal model. Akan explores the presence of secularism outside and inside Europe and offers a rich empirical account of how it moves across borders and through time. Akan uses France and Turkey to analyze comparative discussions of secularism, struggles for power, and historical contextual constraints. Read this preface to the book to learn more about Akan’s research and the history of secularism.

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