- The state of being secular.
Secularity (adjective form secular) is the state
of being separate from religion
. For instance, eating
and bathing may be regarded as examples of secular activities,
because there is nothing inherently religious about them. (Note,
however, that both eating and bathing are regarded as sacraments
by some religious
organizations, and therefore would be religious activities in their
worldview.) Saying a prayer
derived from religous text
or doctrine, worship
through the context of religon, and attending Sunday
are examples of religious (non-secular) activities.
However prayer and meditation are not necessarily non-secular being
that the concept of spirituality and higher consiousness are not
married solely to any religion but are practiced and arose
indepedently across a continuum of cultures.
Most businesses and corporations
in the United
are secular organizations, while some private
universities are church
-related; among many, four
church-related examples are Brigham
of Notre Dame
The Catholic University of America
. The public university
system in the United Kingdom is also secular, although many primary
and secondary schools are religiously aligned.
One approximate synonym for secular is worldly;
another could be phrased as neutral in religious matters.
Approximate antonyms for secular are religious and devout.
Despite occasional confusion, secularity is not
synonymous with atheism
Origin of term
This word derives from a Latin
"of the age". The Christian
doctrine that God exists outside of time
to use secular to indicate separation from religious
affairs and involvement in worldly (or time-related) ones. This
meaning has been extended to apply to separation from any religion
, regardless of whether
it has a similar doctrine.
Examples of secular used in this way include:
authority, which involves legal and military authority as
opposed to clerical authority, or matters the church controls.
clergy in the Roman
Catholic Church, who, traditionally, do not live the monastic lives of the regular
clergy and are therefore, in a sense, less religious and more
worldly. For a related Roman Catholic reference, see Secular
education, schools that are not affiliated with churches or other religious organizations.
governments, which follow civil
laws as opposed to religious authorities like the Islamic Shariah, Catholic
Canon law, or Jewish Halakha, and which
do not favor any particular religion.
Jewish culture, cultural manifestations of Jewishness that are
not specifically religious.
music, composed for general use, as opposed to Sacred music
which is composed for church use. Secular sonatas, in the 17th
century, were those which were not composed to be used in church
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a secular alternative to
Anonymous, AA being a loosely religious organization
society refers to aspects of society that are not (mosque, church, synagogue)-affiliated.
spirituality, the pursuit of spirituality without a formal
affiliation with a church
or other religious
state, a nation that has a secular government.
is a French concept related to the separation of state and
religion, sometimes rendered by the English cognate neologism
laicity and also translated by the words secularity and
secularization. The word laïcité is sometimes characterized as
having no exact English equivalent; it is similar to the more
moderate definition of secularism, but is not as
ambiguous as that word.
- Secularism is an
assertion or belief that religious issues should not be the basis
of politics, a movement
that promotes those ideas or (in the extreme) an ideology that holds that
religion has no place in public life. Secularist organizations are
distinguished from merely secular ones by their political advocacy
of such positions.
- Laïcisme is the French word that most resembles secularism, especially in the
latter's extreme definition, as it is understood by the Catholic
Church, which sets laïcisme in opposition to the allegedly far
milder concept of laïcité.
The correspondent word laicism (also spelled laïcism) is sometimes
used in English as a synonym for secularism.
secularity in Arabic: علمانية (صفه)
secularity in Danish: sekularitet
secularity in German: Säkular
secularity in Spanish: Secularización
secularity in Norwegian Nynorsk: