Religion, the secular and the left
How do different ideas about religion and the secular shape the building of solidarities and alliances?
In pretty much any part of the UK today you will find signs of a wide array of religious organisations and spiritual practices - food banks held in church halls, yoga sessions in community centres, mosques and small Pentecostal churches on industrial estates. For someone looking forward just a few decades ago, such signs of ongoing and visible religiosity might be surprising, as many assumed ‘religion’ would decline as society became more ‘modern’ and ‘secular’. Instead, religion is highly present within everyday life and public discourse, where it is characterised in vastly polarised ways - often as an inherently positive motivator for good people to do good things, but also as a profound threat to the social fabric. Such polarised judgements have been described as the good religion/bad religion paradigm.