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Secular Identity

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

The concept of secular identity was first developed in the mid-19th century to describe a set of beliefs about freedom of religion for the individual in a modern, national state. Secular identity grew with the expanding power and relevance of the state in the life of its citizens in European countries and the United States.

Early scholarly discussion of secular identity was dominated by its connection with the rise of power in the West. The sociologist Max Weber saw the decline in religious identity as marked ...

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