Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism
French Modernist Legacies
Amsterdam University Press
This remarkable study develops a theoretical critique of contemporary discourses on secularism and assimilation, arguing that the perspective of assimilating distinct religious minorities by incorporating them into a secular and supposedly neutral public sphere may be self-subverting. To flesh out this insight, Jansen draws on the paradoxes of assimilation as experienced by the French Jews in the late 19th century through a contextualised reading of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. She proposes a dynamic, critical multiculturalism as an alternative to discourses focusing on secularism, assimilation and integration.
Yolande Jansen is Socrates professor of humanism in relation to religion and secularity at the VU University Amsterdam and a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies, University of Amsterdam.