Section Chair

Matthew Scherer (2018 – 2019)

Matthew Scherer is an Associate Professor of Government and Politics in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Professor Scherer maintains research interests in modern and contemporary political theory; religion and politics; critical theory; secularism; rhetorical and literary theory; early American politics and political thought; constitutionalism; and theories of empire, globalization, and political economy. His research focuses on the intersection of religion and politics with emphases on the politics of modern secularism, and on political theologies. His first book, Beyond Church and State: Democracy, Secularism, and Conversion (Cambridge, 2013), challenges common understandings of secularism as the separation of church and state, and articulates a new theory of secularism as the constant transformation of religious and political life — a process akin to religious conversion. In figuring secularism as a process of conversion, Beyond Church and State suggests new approaches to the deep entanglement of religion and politics in contemporary public life.

Professor Scherer’s current research follows two main tracks: one examines the emergence of American secularism in colonial and revolutionary periods, and the other focuses on the global production of “secularism” and “religion” in political modernity. The working title of his current book-length project is Modern Exceptions.

Contact Info:
Robinson Hall A 216, MSN: 3F4
Fairfax, Virginia 22033

Beyond Church and State: Democracy, Secularism, and Conversion

Cambridge University Press (March 29, 2013)