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A Secular Cancellation Of The Secularist Truce: Religion And Political Legitimation In Australia

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Chapter Summary

Among the secularisation paradigm's many twists, turns and tweaks, Australia only partly fits existing privatisation or deprivatisation accounts of public religion in the modern world. In Australia, as in so many other Western countries, Christianity has seized a more urgent public and political voice as its numerical strength has declined. The modern nation of Australia was founded once the European project of differentiation was already well advanced. Differentiation, in José Casanova's sense, was written into the nation's founding documents. This chapter begins with John Howard, whose prime ministership inaugurated the collapse of Australia's secularist truce. Rudd's successor, Julia Gillard, who took office when levels both of personal faith and adherence to a denomination among the general population had reached historic lows.

Keywords: Australia's secularist truce; José Casanova; Julia Gillard; political legitimation; public religion



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