The Sacred is the Profane, Spirituality is not Religion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The review essay of The Sacred is The Profane takes up the challenge of the authors to offer a historical analysis and contextualization of the discourse that is critical of the concept of religion. The essay observes that criticisms of "religion" emerged and gained significant power in the context of the growing influence of critical theories in the humanities and social sciences in the last decades. Yet, apart from the obvious impact of critical theories on religious studies, the essay suggests that the radical criticism of religion is related to a major shift in the use of the term religion as a folk category in contemporary culture. It claims that criticism of religion as an analytic category and suggestions to dispense with it altogether were made possible by the diminishing social and political power of the modernist dichotomy between the religious and the secular in the postmodern era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2015


  • critical theory
  • postmodernity
  • religion
  • religious studies
  • spirituality
  • the secular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The Sacred is the Profane, Spirituality is not Religion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this