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SECULARISM. The term secularism signifies that which is not religious. It is rooted in the Latin world saeculum, which initially meant "age" or "generations" in the sense of temporal time. It later became associated with matters of this world, as distinct from those of the spirit directed toward attainment of paradise. The French word laicite also signifies secularism but originally designated "lay people," those who were not of the clergy (Berkes, 1964, p. 5). Historians define the nature or ...more

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