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Postsecular geographies: theo-ethics, rapprochement and neoliberal governance in a faith-based drug programme

Williams, Andrew ORCID: 2015. Postsecular geographies: theo-ethics, rapprochement and neoliberal governance in a faith-based drug programme. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 40 (2) , pp. 192-208. 10.1111/tran.12069

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This paper explores the connections between emergent postsecularity and neoliberal forms of governance. The concept of the postsecular has been increasingly debated by human geographers seeking to understand the apparent paradox that, in late secularised societies, there seems to be a renewed visibility to religion in public life. Geographical scholarship has taken issue with broad-scale suggestions of a shift from a secular to a postsecular society, arguing instead for a grounded analysis of particular spaces where the religious and the secular are co-produced and open out new lines of hybridity. Building on Cloke and Beaumont's notion of rapprochement, this paper critically examines the practical dynamics of postsecular partnerships where diverse religious, secular and humanist voices accrete around mutual ethical concerns and crossover narratives. Using the illustration of a homeless centre and drug treatment service run by the Salvation Army in the UK, I show how the translation of a theo-ethics of caritas can open up political and ethical spaces that cut against the ‘ethics’ of neoliberal governmentality. These crossover narratives are shown to result in liminal spaces that negotiate and translate religious/secular belief. The conclusion offers two further avenues for postsecular approaches studying the changing geographies of secularity, theo-ethics and neoliberalism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policies at (accessed 21.4.16).
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0020-2754
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 2 July 2014
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 10:31

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