In recent years, debate about the role of religion in secular Western society has increased significantly, both within more mainstream media outlets and in academic discourse. The attacks of September 11th mark an obvious change in awareness of the role religion can take as a politically motivating force; immigration waves in Western Europe have been met by an unsettling rise of nationalist populism, and contentious court cases about religious freedom and human rights abound (headscarves, circumcision, religious symbols in schools). While Jürgen Habermas has emerged as one of the foremost thinkers within debates on notions of secularism, post-secularism and postmetaphysical thought, German intellectual tradition has long been an especially fruitful ground for sophisticated reflection on the role of religion in secular society. This panel invites submissions from various analytic approaches (philosophical, historical, sociological, cultural studies) that explore ways in which German thinkers and writers have been able to envision the complex relationship and very dichotomy posited between the religious and the secular. We especially welcome papers that highlight positive understandings of secularism that break with conventional, negative understandings which define it in opposition to religion.