Slavica Jakelić

Slavica Jakelić
  • Valparaiso University
  • Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Thought at Christ College
  • Affiliation During NDIAS Fellowship: University of Virginia
  • Pampusch Scholar, Residential Fellow (2011-2012)
  • “The Practice of Religious and Secular Humanisms”

Slavica Jakelić is a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and the Director of its project on “Secularism in the Late Modern Age.”

Professor Jakelić has written for academic and broader audiences on the subjects of religion and identity, theories of religion and modernity, religion and politics, religion and conflict, and secularization and secularism. She is co-editor of two volumes, The Future of the Study of Religion (Brill N.V., 2004) and Crossing Boundaries: From Syria to Slovakia (2003) and co-editor of The Hedgehog Review issue “After Secularization” (2006). Her most recent work is Collectivistic Religions: Religion, Choice, and Identity in Late Modernity (Ashgate, 2010). Professor Jakelić is currently working on a book entitled The Practice of Religious and Secular Humanisms. She has worked at or been a fellow at a number of interdisciplinary institutes in Europe and in the U.S., including the Erasmus Institute for the Culture of Democracy in Croatia; the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture at Boston University; the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, Austria; the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame; and the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago.


  • Humanism and Theoretical Pluralism: A Response to Christian Smith's What Is a Person?

    Journal of Religious Ethics, 2014

    Slavica Jakelić

    Christian Smith’s What Is a Person? calls for a normative turn in sociology—the grounding of sociology in a theory of human nature. While offering a systematic account of a thick view of personhood—what it should look like, how it can be applied, and why it is needed—the book proposes a critical realist personalism as the best metatheoretical direction for sociology. The author of this essay agrees with the main questions and direction of Smith’s project. However, by historicizing the origins and sociological implications of personalist moral theory, the author problematizes the personalism that is one of the foundations of Smith’s project. She contrasts personalism with humanism, suggesting that the latter might possess both the normative robustness and comparative potential needed for contemporary sociological theory and practice. She ends her response to Smith’s book by raising questions about the relationship between critical realist personalism and theoretical pluralism.

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