The THE PROLIFERATION OF SECULAR RELIGIONS:
THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS
Copyright (c) 2021 Nyirkos Tamás
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The term ‘secular religion’ first appeared in the description of modern totalitarian ideologies but soon became a general category applied to other political, socio-economic and cultural phenomena. The first problem with this approach is the inherent contradiction of the term, since ‘secular’ by all modern definitions means ‘non-religious’, making a secular religion something like a ‘nonreligious religion’. The second is the wide range of examples from communism to liberalism, from capitalism to ecology, or from transhumanism to social media, which suggests that with some creativity almost anything can be described as secular and religious at the same time. The first part of the paper deals with the terminological difficulties, while the second outlines the history of drawing secular-religious analogies, concluding that the ultimate failure to give a coherent narrative of secular religions is rooted in the impossibility of giving an adequate definition of religion in the first place.