This book is a historian’s contribution to secularism studies, an increasingly rich research field that has so far been dominated by sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and scholars of religion. During the last two decades or so, scholars have devoted a large amount of attention to the study of politicised religion as well as different forms of religious extremism. More recently, scholars in various academic disciplines are advancing our understanding of how and where secularism came about, who its most important advocates were and in how far secularism ought to be interpreted as a key feature of our globalising world. 1