Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity

Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity

by Talal Asad
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804747687

ISBN-13: 9780804747684

Pub. Date: 02/03/2003

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804747684
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
02/03/2003
Series:
Cultural Memory in the Present Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
549,616
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................ix
Introduction: Thinking about Secularism....................1
1 What Might an Anthropology of Secularism Look Like?....................21
2 Thinking about Agency and Pain....................67
3 Reflections on Cruelty and Torture....................100
4 Redeeming the "Human" Through Human Rights....................127
5 Muslims as a "Religious Minority" in Europe....................159
6 Secularism, Nation-State, Religion....................181
7 Reconfigurations of Law and Ethics in Colonial Egypt....................205
Index....................257

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