Love, Religion, and Secularity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


McCaffree's challenge to traditional definitions of religion, and his suggestion that religiosity is about individual integration into a moral community are discussed. This is taken as an opportunity to examine difficulties in defining religion, and attempts to go around the definition issues by offering analogies. Religious emotion, as discussed by William James and Emile Durkheim, is found to be no different than strong emotions directed at our secular commitments. Devotion, and self-sacrifice are discussed in both religious and secular context. The denial of death and fantasies about an afterlife are central to religion, and are unlikely to disappear in the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalSecular Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Copyright 2021 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • afterlife
  • definition
  • moral community
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies


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