The “secular religions” project

About terminology

The terminology is still pending. For a time I used “political theology”, but this refers only to analogies between theological and political concepts and theories. I also tried to use “political religions” to emphasize practical and institutional implications, but it too strongly evokes totalitarian allusions. Right now I use “secular religions”, although it is clearly a contradiction: if something is secular, it is not religious and vice versa. The contradiction itself, however, may help to bring home the message that the separation of the “religious” and the “secular” is anything but clear and self-evident.

About the project

This is part of a larger project we’re working on at the National University of Public Service, Budapest. For more information, see:

The first step would be to make a catalog of all political ideologies, social, economic, and cultural theories (and their corresponding institutions and practices) that have ever been called “religious” in an analogous sense. Sometimes they’re also called “quasi, pseudo, ersatz” and the like, but this already supposes that we know what a “real” religion looks like, which is certainly not the case. For a preliminary list see:

Request for contributions

If anyone is aware of further authors and works in the field, please don’t hesitate and let me know. I would be most grateful for any suggestions.