chapter  8
12 Pages

The Gracelands of Multiple Modernities 1

WithAdam Possamai

The idea of multiple modernities presumes that the best way to understand the contemporary world, indeed to explain the history of modernity, is to see it as a story of continual constitution and reconstitution of a multiplicity of cultural programs. The first path led to a study of multiple modernities and of comparative civilizations; more centrally, the diversity of axial age civilizations. Theoretically, multiple modernities do not represent a type of sociology that enumerates historical events; it is a multi-dimensional theoretical description of structural evolution. Multiple modernities do not assume that global modernity is derived from the West as a single pattern and does not describe a plurality of social structures. While post-secularism asks for a debate, the multiple modernities thesis provides a justification to this debate. As sociologists of religion should all be methodological agnostics, using the theories of multiple modernities to shed light on current social and cultural changes forms part of a theoretical agnostic approach.