Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Ibn Rushd Diwan Al Falsafa: Secularism, secularity and secularisation

Secularism, secularity and secularisation - what exactly does each notion mean, and how are they related to and distinguished from each other? Does secularism, for example, mean a separation of religion and church from state, politics or sovereignty? What are the theoretical and practical implications of different definitions of secularism?

In what sense and to what extent could we consider these concepts – secularism, secularity and secularisation – as universal and/or cultural concepts? What is the relationship between democracy, on the one hand, and secularism, secularity and secularisation, on the other hand?

Is secularism a requirement or part of democracy, or is democracy an integral part of what is called a “secular paradigm”?

Through discussing possible answers to the afore-mentioned questions, in this Diwan we will have a closer look at different concepts, and the definitions of these concepts between and within the “Islamic and Western cultures”, as well as these concepts’ different descriptive and normative significations and connotations. To this end, a brief historical and theoretical introduction of various approaches to the relationship between religious and secular paradigms is needed.

The philosopher Housamedden Darwish will introduce the topic by giving an overview on this historical and theoretical background, and point to the main questions and problematics related to this topic in the Western and Arab and Islamic thought.


These are the basic ideas and questions for the Diwan al-Falsafa on Thursday April 26 at 19 hrs, again at Kater und Goldfisch, Exerzierstraße 1, 13357 Berlin-Wedding. Closest stations are Nauener Platz (U9), Pankstraße (U8), or Gesundbrunnen (U+S-Bahn).

This Diwan's main language is English, but it is possible to contribute to the discussion also in Arabic or German, and we will translate as best as we can.

As always, no scientific nor final results are to be expected from and during this philosophical salon, but an open and unbiased discussion.