Introduction

The Journal of Studies in History and Culture (JSHC) is publishing its second issue this year. Our concept note revolved around secularism and what it meant in times of growing fundamentalism and religious intolerance all around us. Secular polities in India, the United States, many countries in Europe, are under being increasingly questioned. OED’s acceptance of post-truth as the word of 2016 has only reaffirmed our concern with demagogues and their politics the world over. The time therefore was right to question what secularism means today.

The papers JSHC Issue 2 though come from different fields of scholarship and thematic, not necessarily in tune with our current theme. All of them however, have one thing in common – our belief in emerging scholarship all over the world.

Despite the numerous submissions we received, we could only accommodate a handful of them. Our focus remained on those which showed a definite bend towards an interdisciplinary paradigm.

Michal Bartocz photograph, used on our cover page, conveys more about our concept note than mere words can. 

The special article and reprints in this issue speak to the notions of history, state and secularism. The interviews in this issue elaborate on the crucial linkages between the academia and what is the role of a public intellectual in these trying times.  

The review of Jordan’s book, which despite being a white centred rendition was a brilliant piece of scholarship when first published, is timely and may still be relevant for some.