Miroslav Volf considers the proper nature of secularism, and of Christian faith.
People generally who think in terms of separation of church and state, they tend to think in terms of privatisation of religion. The more private it is – it’s for your home, it’s for your heart, it’s for the small community of believers – but the public space should be free of religion, should be neutral with regard to religion, emptied of religious concerns.
I think that’s a very big mistake. It presumes, then, simply, that there is such a thing as a neutral worldview and why is it then not [a] certain form of attenuated secularism that’s being established as a “political religion” versus other religion that has been pushed out? So my sense is that we need to create spaces in which people with different over-arching interpretations of life can participate on equal terms.
That means not a privatisation of religion – and privatisation of religion, in any case, I think is problematic. Because life is a kind of unity, life cannot be lived … even I, as a private person, cannot live simply as an individual demoored from what the political system as a whole, or what the larger society as a whole, how it is being structured. So that I don’t think there is anything like a private faith in that sense. And I think faith has, by its nature – Christian faith has, by its nature – a goal to be concerned for the good broader than just of my own or my own little community.