This article explains the puzzling but persistent marginalization of religion and secularism studies—despite long-standing critiques of secularism and the secularization thesis—by examining a vignette from a doctoral exam in English. The article argues that in professional and pedagogical settings, secularism is ritualistically reinstantiated in informal exchanges such that scholarly disregard for religion becomes, in Peter Coviello’s words, “a part of our untheorized and offhand real.” Such informally but intensely pedagogical moments bear inextricably scholarly implications and suggest that, if we wish to speak differently about religion, we should replace this implicit pedagogy of dismissing religion and reinstantiating secularism with an explicit pedagogy engaging the secular/religious binary. As a discipline, we need to take up religion in our literature classrooms in ways that dovetail with our operative methodologies, even as they catalyze and alter them, and that neither reboot the secularization thesis nor reify the secular/religious binary and, more important, that are helpful to our students, our society, and ourselves. The article then addresses a concrete example of how scholars from a range of methodologies can develop and implement such postsecular pedagogies.

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