Opening with the provocative query _what might an anthropology of the secular look like?_ this book explores the concepts, practices, and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the major historical shifts that have shaped ...
Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Opening with the provocative query what might an anthropology of the secular look like? this book explores the concepts, practices, and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the major historical shifts that have shaped secular sensibilities and attitudes in the modern West and the Middle East. Talal Asad proceeds to dismantle commonly held assumptions about the secular and the terrain it allegedly covers. He argues that while anthropologists have oriented themselves to the study of the strangeness of the non-European world and to what are seen as non-rational dimensions of social life (things like myth, taboo, and religion),the modern and the secular have not been adequately examined. The conclusion is that the secular cannot be viewed as a successor to religion, or be seen as on the side of the rational. It is a category with a multi-layered history, related to major premises of modernity, democracy, and the concept of human rights. This book will appeal to anthropologists, historians, religious studies scholars, as well as scholars working on modernity.
Taylor, Secular Age, 22, 423–437, 473–504,573. Cady, “Secularism,” 874. More
extensively, see Asad, Formations of the Secular. The most influential formulation
of the secularization thesis is Weber, Protestant Ethic. On this background, see ...
Author: Melissa E. Sanchez
Publisher: NYU Press
Uncovers the queer logics of premodern religious and secular texts Putting premodern theology and poetry in dialogue with contemporary theory and politics, Queer Faith reassess the commonplace view that a modern veneration of sexual monogamy and fidelity finds its roots in Protestant thought. What if this narrative of “history and tradition” suppresses the queerness of its own foundational texts? Queer Faith examines key works of the prehistory of monogamy—from Paul to Luther, Petrarch to Shakespeare—to show that writing assumed to promote fidelity in fact articulates the affordances of promiscuity, both in its sexual sense and in its larger designation of all that is impure and disorderly. At the same time, Melissa E. Sanchez resists casting promiscuity as the ethical, queer alternative to monogamy, tracing instead how ideals of sexual liberation are themselves attached to nascent racial and economic hierarchies. Because discourses of fidelity and freedom are also discourses on racial and sexual positionality, excavating the complex historical entanglement of faith, race, and eroticism is urgent to contemporary queer debates about normativity, agency, and relationality. Deliberately unfaithful to disciplinary norms and national boundaries, this book assembles new conceptual frameworks at the juncture of secular and religious thought, political and aesthetic form. It thereby enlarges the contexts, objects, and authorized genealogies of queer scholarship. Retracing a history that did not have to be, Sanchez recovers writing that inscribes radical queer insights at the premodern foundations of conservative and heteronormative culture.
Having acknowledged the hybrid component in the Third Sector , it would be a
mistake to fetishize hybridity in the post - modern tradition , as an unequivocally
liberating , if not subversive principle of new liberaldemocratic social formations .
Author: Rustom Bharucha
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In This Bold And Challenging New Book, The Author Charts The Shifting Dynamics Of Religion, Community And Civil Society In An Era Which Has Seen The Concurrent Rise Of Mass Media, Globalization And Religious Fundamentalism.
The roots of this exist not merely in the right-wing political imagination of a Hindu
rashtra but also in the secular sectarianism pursued by secular, democratic and
progressive political formations. Secular sectarianism of the feminists, Dalits, the
Author: Ajay Gudavarthy
Publisher: Sage Publications Pvt. Limited
Secularism is a tenet that is fundamental to Indian democracy and enshrined in the Constitution. However, its practice has been severely hampered in recent times largely due to the secular sectarianism pursued by secular, democratic and progressive political formations. This implies the tendency of specific secular political movements to act as if their agenda are exclusively important. Secular sectarianism has gradually polarized communities and advanced a woefully limited political imagination, leading to the proliferation of conflicts between various marginalized groups—Dalits, tribals, OBCs, Muslims, women and the Left. Secular Sectarianism: Limits of Subaltern Politics includes several accounts of such conflicts, opening up a new area of study for further conceptualization. This book emphasizes that citizenship in practice is expressed through the right to speak for others and not just for oneself. Progress can be made only by opening up dialogues within and across political communities. This is essential for India’s survival as a secular and democratic nation. Progressive politics needs to move towards affinity and an idea of shared spaces.
Or , to be more specific , they see growing antagonism between the secularism
and rights - based individualism of ... in the public ( local , national and
international sphere is anthropologist Talal Asad ' s latest book , Formations of
the Secular .
Author: Philip Ostien
Publisher: Spectrum Books Limited
A timely publication when the need for greater understanding between Islamic and Western cultures is sharper than ever, the papers in this book are the result of an international conference entitled 'the Shari'ah debate and the shaping of Muslim and Christian identities in Northern Nigeria'. The conference was convened by the University of Jos in northern Nigeria in the wake of the religious/civil strife in the area in 2001 and 2002. The conference, which brought together scholars from Nigeria and overseas considered recent developments in law and religion, and shari'ah from local and global perspectives. The publication is intended to serve as an example of constructive dialogue in an academic setting between Muslims, Christians and those of neither religion, and as a permanent contribution to the literature on law and religion in Nigeria.
The volume offers a historical and ethnographical analysis of the relationship between the sacred and the secular, examining religion in relation to politics, economics and civil power.
Author: Timothy Fitzgerald
Religion has dominated colonialism since the 16th century. 'Religion and the Secular' critically examines how religion has been used to subject indigenous concepts to the needs of colonial powers. Essays present the colonial relationship from the perspective of colonized cultures - including Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Africa and Canada - and colonizing powers, namely England, Germany and the United States. The volume offers a historical and ethnographical analysis of the relationship between the sacred and the secular, examining religion in relation to politics, economics and civil power.
... distinct religio-political generational unit, 109; alienated secularism and latent
piety in 1948–1967 generation, 110–11; ... Christian sectarianization of, 117–20,
194; early secular identity formation of, 116–17; on the need to cater to Muslims,
Author: Loren D. Lybarger
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org. Chicago is home to one of the largest, most politically active Palestinian immigrant communities in the United States. For decades, secular nationalism held sway as the dominant political ideology, but since the 1990s its structures have weakened and Islamic institutions have gained strength. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and interview data, Palestinian Chicago charts the origins of these changes and the multiple effects they have had on identity across religious, political, class, gender, and generational lines. The perspectives that emerge through this rich ethnography challenge prevailing understandings of secularity and religion, offering critical insight into current debates about immigration and national belonging.
I have in mind Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in
Christianity and Islam (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), and
Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford: Stanford
Author: Peter Dula
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
The work of John Howard Yoder has become increasingly influential in recent years. Moreover, it is gaining influence in some surprising places. No longer restricted to the world of theological ethicists and Mennonites, Yoder has been discovered as a refreshing voice by scholars working in many other fields. For thirty-five years, Yoder was known primarily as an articulate defender of Christian pacifism against a theological ethics guild dominated by the Troeltschian assumptions reflected in the work of Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold and Richard Niebuhr. But in the last decade, there has been a clearly identifiable shift in direction. A new generation of scholars has begun reading Yoder alongside figures most often associated with post-structuralism, neo-Nietzscheanism, and post-colonialism, resulting in original and productive new readings of his work. At the same time, scholars from outside of theology and ethics departments, indeed outside of Christianity itself, like Romand Coles and Daniel Boyarin, have discovered in Yoder a significant conversation partner for their own work. This volume collects some of the best of those essays in hope of encouraging more such work from readers of Yoder and in hopes of attracting others to his important work.
4. Du Bois, Autobiography, 284, 413–14,422. 5. My understanding of the rise of
modernity and secularism is indebted to Taylor, A Secular Age. 6. Saler, “
Modernity and Enchantment,” 692–716; Asad, Formations of the Secular, chapter
Author: Vincent William Lloyd
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Is faith a necessary virtue in the contemporary world? May it be, or must it be, detached from religious commitment? What do genealogies of the secular tell us about faith? Does religion need secular faith? Secular Faith brings together leading and emerging scholars to reflect on the apparent paradox of "secular faith." Ranging over anthropology, religious studies, political science, history, and literature, from Muslims in China to Pentecostals in South Africa to a prison chapel in Texas, this collection of essays is as engaging and accessible as it is penetrating and rigorous. Communism was once labeled "the god that failed." Like Christianity, Communism involves faith in a superhuman endeavor, conversion, myth, discipline, and salvation--and, from the perspective of secular liberalism, both are unjustified and false. In recent years, scholars have begun to investigate whether secularism is itself based on faith in a god that failed, or is failing. Nevertheless, many still embrace such a faith, finding in the spirit of democracy an ethos of eternal renewal. Secular Faith enters and broadens this conversation, interrogating secular faith in a global context, tapping new theoretical resources, and grappling provocatively with the tragedies and opportunities of today's profane pantheon of beliefs.
The gendered dimension of secularism has been an intrinsic feature of Turkish
modernization from its very beginnings in the ... a set of disciplinary practices,
both corporal and spatial, that are inseparable from the formations of the secular
Author: Michael Warner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
“What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age?” This apparently simple question opens into the massive, provocative, and complex A Secular Age, where Charles Taylor positions secularism as a defining feature of the modern world, not the mere absence of religion, and casts light on the experience of transcendence that scientistic explanations of the world tend to neglect. In Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, a prominent and varied group of scholars chart the conversations in which A Secular Age intervenes and address wider questions of secularism and secularity. The distinguished contributors include Robert Bellah, José Casanova, Nilüfer Göle, William E. Connolly, Wendy Brown, Simon During, Colin Jager, Jon Butler, Jonathan Sheehan, Akeel Bilgrami, John Milbank, and Saba Mahmood. Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age succeeds in conveying to readers the complexity of secularism while serving as an invaluable guide to a landmark book.
It is this encounter that gives the West access to cultural and historical information about the societies it has progressively dominated, and thus not only generates a certain kind of universal understanding, but also reenforces the ...
Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Humanities Press International
"We have been reminded time and again by anthropologists of the ideas and ideals of the Enlightenment in which the intellectual inspiration of anthropology is supposed to lie. But anthropology is also rooted in an unequal power encounter between the West and the Third World, which goes back to the emergence of bourgeois Europe, an encounter in which colonialism is merely one historical moment. It is this encounter that gives the West access to cultural and historical information about the societies it has progressively dominated, and thus not only generates a certain kind of universal understanding, but also reenforces the inequalities in capacity between the European and the non-European worlds (and derivatively, between the Europeanized elites and the 'tradtional' masses in the Third World) . . ." – from the Introduction The papers in this book analyze and document ways in which anthropological thinking and practice have been affected by British colonialism. They approach this topic from different points of view and at different levels. Each stands as an original contribution to an argument which is only just beginning.
Scott, “Secularism and Gender Equality,” this volume. 2. Oxford English
Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), 505. ... Asad, Formations of
the Secular, 239. 14. Taylor, A Secular Age, 532. 15. Asad, Formations of the
Author: Linell E. Cady
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
Ibid. For more documentation on the evolving use of the term “secularism” see
Keddie, “Secularism and Its Discontents,” 15, and Taylor, “Modes of Secularism,”
31–35. 6. Asad, Formations of the Secular, 23–24. 7. George Jacob Holyoake,
Author: Nader Hashemi
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
In Secular Translations, the anthropologist Talal Asad reflects on his lifelong engagement with secularism and its contradictions.
Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: Columbia University Press
In Secular Translations, the anthropologist Talal Asad reflects on his lifelong engagement with secularism and its contradictions. He draws out the ambiguities in our concepts of the religious and the secular through a rich consideration of translatability and untranslatability, exploring the circuitous movements of ideas between histories and cultures. In search of meeting points between the language of Islam and the language of secular reason, Asad gives particular importance to the translations of religious ideas into nonreligious ones. He discusses the claim that liberal conceptions of equality represent earlier Christian ideas translated into secularism; explores the ways that the language and practice of religious ritual play an important but radically transformed role as they are translated into modern life; and considers the history of the idea of the self and its centrality to the project of the secular state. Secularism is not only an abstract principle that modern liberal democratic states espouse, he argues, but also a range of sensibilities. The shifting vocabularies associated with each of these sensibilities are fundamentally intertwined with different ways of life. In exploring these entanglements, Asad shows how translation opens the door for—or requires—the utter transformation of the translated. Drawing on a diverse set of thinkers ranging from al-Ghazālī to Walter Benjamin, Secular Translations points toward new possibilities for intercultural communication, seeking a language for our time beyond the language of the state.