Religion is Secularised Tradition: Jewish and Muslim Circumcisions in Germany
This article demonstrates that the legal reasoning dominant in modern states secularises traditions by converting them into ‘religions’. Using a case study on Germany’s recent regulation of male circumcision, we illustrate that religions have (at least) three dimensions: religiosity (private belief, individual right and autonomous choice); religious law (a divinely ordained legal code); and religious groups (public threat). When states restrict traditions within these three dimensions, they construct ‘religions’ within a secularisation triangle. Our theoretical model of a secularisation triangle illuminates that, in many Western states, there is a three-way relationship between a post-Christian state and both its Jewish and Muslim minorities. Our two theoretical proposals—the secularisation triangle and the trilateral relationship—contribute to a re-examination of religious freedom from the perspective of minority traditions and minority communities.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Religion is Secularised Tradition: Jewish and Muslim Circumcisions in Germany. 2020: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1093/ojls/gqaa028