Modern politics is often said to be fundamentally secular, and many who do not say so may find the proposition too obvious to need stating. In a sense, perhaps, it is obvious; but what does it mean? No doubt it is valuable to have a term to describe a society without religion, or one in which common affairs are not religiously directed. But it is odd to suppose that the sheer absence of a characteristic can serve effectively to define a type of society; for one thing, we would need to know what kind of religion was absent, or in what respects religion was lacking, before we could assess what significance this absence could be said to have; for another, to define a society by the absence of a certain feature would seem to point to an intense preoccupation with its presence or absence, yet it is precisely the lack of preoccupation with religion that is held to characterize secular man. A fortiori, it is odd to suppose that secularity not only serves to distinguish broadly among kinds of societies—those with and without religion—but that it also determines the principal features of social and political behavior, to such an extent that one can speak of a secular political culture as a distinct and well-marked type.