This introductory chapter considers recent debates concerning the meaning of secularization. It cites the need to first trace the genealogy of the term and identify the relevant political actors involved in the development of secularism, when they began to use the term as they did, and why their expectations were related to their experiences through new and different ways of understanding the concept. It then examines the meaning of disclosure as well as the dialectics between immanence and transcendence in relation to politics. It concludes that it was through conceptual history and in discovering how politics belonged to the realm of immanence that it truly gained its autonomy from theology. Modern politics established its grounds by relating societies to their experiences and hopes of its own institutionalization.
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