Acton Institute Powerblog

The End of Secularism Is Here . . .

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Well, at least the book is, anyway. The End of Secularism is now in stock at and should be available in stores, too. Help me, faithful readers.

I don’t think I’ll disappoint you. Francis Beckwith, David Dockery, Russell Moore, Father Robert Sirico, Herb London, Jennifer Morse Roback, and Glenn Stanton all liked it. I hope you will, too.

Did you get the best part, by the way? FATHER ROBERT SIRICO. Here is his take on the book:

The task of discerning the alternative to practical atheism lived by many nominal Christians and the pretense of a neutral secularism has been made easier by this rich study. Once authentic Christians grasp the ramifications of the incarnation of Christ, then and only then will it be apparent that, as Baker argues, secularism only makes sense in relation to religion.

Hunter Baker Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor of political science at Union University and an Affiliate Scholar in Religion & Politics at the Acton Institute. He is the author of The End of Secularism and Political Thought: A Student's Guide.


  • “argues that advocates of secularism misunderstand the borders between science, religion, and politics and cannot solve the problem of religious difference.”

    That would be a strange argument to make. Secularism, as I understand it, arose as a response to irresolvable religious differences, not as an attempt to solve the “problem”. Jefferson et al realized the forlornness of angels on pinheads arguments, and therefore set up a government free of such non-sense.

    It may be the case that some secularists misunderstand “the borders between science, religion, and politics”, but to criticize them for failing to solve a problem they are not even trying to solve seems misguided.

    I would not criticize a medical doctor for his inability to fix my car.

    I suppose you could be using the word “secularism” in an idiosyncratic way rendering my argument mute.

  • Hunter Baker

    No, Unbeguiled, I am not using the word in an idiosyncratic way. Secularism is indeed an attempt at solving the problem of religious difference by removing God from the public square. There is absolutely nothing unusual about using the term in that fashion. That would be the dominant understanding. It is not directed at arguments like angels dancing on pinheads, but toward the relationship of the citizen to the state and of morality and the state’s actions.

  • UnBeguiled

    “Secularism is indeed an attempt at solving the problem of religious difference by removing God from the public square.”

    In my experience, people who self-identify has secular attempt no such thing. You are free to stand on a street corner with a cardboard sign preaching that God hates fags all you want. But a secular person would object to the government executing homosexuals because the bible instructs us to do so.

    Do you not grok the distinction?

  • Jim

    Surely secularism refers either to the doctrine that rejects religion, especially with regard to ethics; or refers to the attitude that religion should have no place in civil affairs?
    If that is the case, by what logic could the statement in the title be true?

    Many may wish for the end of secularism – but that is as inconceivable in reality as, say, the end of Religion.

    I get very frustrated by the misleading, if attention grabbing, titles of books which purport to be serious studies.

    I’d be interested to know how you justify the title.

  • Hunter Baker

    Jim, the title refers to two things:

    1. The book is an argument for the end of secularism as a doctrine purporting to provide a neutral space for public debate.

    2. The book examines the “end” of secularism, meaning the purpose of secularism and secularists.