Faithfully Secular: Secularism and South African Political Life

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal for the Study of Religion, Volume 20 (2007)



One of the most dramatic changes in the governance of South Africa since 1994 has been the move away from the Christian political theology of apartheid to an explicitly secular legal and political regime. This process of secularisation has brought South Africa into line with the majority of national polities in the world. But there has been very little attention to date to the form of secularism emerging here; its framing of the presence of religion in public and political life, and its forms of governmentality. This paper develops a basic model of state secularism that can assist in examining its post-apartheid forms in comparative and global context, and points to some of its emerging limits.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.