The Post-Secular Society is a project put forward by Habermas as a critique of modern secularism. Habermas envisions this project as a via media—a mediating force between religious fundamentalism and excessive secularism. He argues that religious citizens can translate their religious discourses into a generally-accessible language that would enable them to discuss and communicate with their secular counterparts. This theory provides itself as an alternative to the Secularization Thesis, which had been the predominant framework for sociologists to study the relationship between the religious and the secular, or between faith and reason. This article attempts to outline sociological and philosophical foundations of Habermas’ Post-Secular Society by reviewing his essays and public speeches. As a counterbalance, the article will also present criticisms against Habermas’ notion of Discursive Translation and the limits of translation itself, which will function as a theoretical yardstick in gauging to what extent the Post-Secular Society is achievable. In conclusion, I argue that Habermas’ concept on the Post-Secular Society, whichhe argues to require religious communities to carry out Discursive Translation, can be realized within the moral-practice component of religion. However, this concept requires further conceptualization, especially when applied to non-European societies and religious life at the micro-level.


Areshidze, Giorgi. 2017. “Taking Religion Seriously? Habermas on Religious Translation and Cooperative Learning in Post-secular Society.” American Political Science Review (2017) 111, 4, 724–737. Arfi, Badredine. 2015. “Habermas and the aporia of translating religion in democracy.” European Journal of Social Theory 18(4), Pp. 489-506. Asad, Talal. 2003. Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Berger, Peter L. 1992. The Desecularization of The World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics. Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Brittain, Christopher C. 2012. “The Frankfurt School on Religion.” Religion Compass 6/3 (2012): 204-212. Byrd, Dustin J. 2016. Islam in a Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith. Boston: Brill Open. Dillon, Michele. 2012. “Jürgen Habermas and The Post-Secular Appropriation of Religion: A Sociological Critique.” Pp. 249-278 in The Post-Secular in Question: Religion in Contemporary Society edited by Philip S. Gorski et al. New York: New York University Press. Fordahl, Clayton. 2017. “The post-secular: Paradigm shift or provocation?.” European Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 20(4), 550-568. Habermas, Jürgen. 1992. Postmetaphysical Thinking: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: MIT Press. ___. 2001. “Faith and Knowledge”. Habemas’ Speech in the Peace Price of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, Frankfurt. ___. 2006. “Religion in the Public Sphere”. European Journal of Philosophy 14:1, pp. 1–25. ___. 2008a. “A ‘Post-Secular’ Society – What Does That Mean?.” Reset Dialogues on Civilizations in Istanbul Seminars, June 2-6, 2008. ___. 2008b. Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Polity Press. ___. 2011. “’The Political’ The Rational Meaning of a Questionable Inheritance of Political Theology.” Pp. 26-33 in The Power of Reli gion in The Public Sphere edited by Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan Vanantwerpen. New York: Columbia University Press. Harrington, Austin. 2007. “Habermas and the ‘Post-Secular Society’.” European Journal of Social Theory 10(4): 543–560. Hirschkind, Charles. 2011. “Is There a Secular Body?” Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 633–647 Juergensmeyer, Mark. 2019. “Religious Nationalism in a Global World.” Religions 2019, 10, 97. Karpov, Vyacheslav. 2010. “Desecularization: A Conceptual Framework”. Journal of Church and State, Spring 2010; 52, 2. Milbank, John. 2006. Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart. 2004. “Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reaves, Dylan. 2012. “Peter Berger and the Rise and Fall of the Theory of Secularization.” Denison Journal of Religion, Vol. 11 [2012], Art. 3. Sayem, M. Abu. 2019. “Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s Works on Environmental Issues: A Survey.” Islamic Studies 58:3 (2019) pp. 439–451. Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava. 2017. “Religion, Science, and Technology in the Post-Secular Age: The Case of Trans/Posthumanism.” PTSc 4 (2017), 7-45. Turner, Bryan. 2010. “Sociology of Religion”. West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Walsh, Thomas G. 2012. “Religion, Peace and The Post-Secular Public Sphere.” International Journal on World Peace, Vol. 29, No. 2. Ziebert, Hans-Georg and Ulrich Riegel. 2009. “Europe: A Post-secular Society?.” IJPT, vol. 13, pp. 1-16. Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and The Catholic Church. 2019. “The Human Fraternity Document for World Peace and Coexistence”. https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2019/outside/documents/papa-francesco_20190204_documento-fratellanza-umana.html Muslim World League. 2022. “Forum On Common Values Among Religious Followers”. https://themwl.org/en/forum-on-common-values