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In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept.
The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making."
Johns Hopkins University Press
— Ralph M. Coury
— James R. Wood
|1||The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category||27|
|2||Toward a Genealogy of the Concept of Ritual||55|
|3||Pain and Truth in Medieval Christian Ritual||83|
|4||On Discipline and Humility in Medieval Christian Monasticism||125|
|5||The Concept of Cultural Translation in British Social Anthropology||171|
|6||The Limits of Religious Criticism in the Middle East: Notes on Islamic Public Argument||200|
|7||Multiculturalism and British Identity in the Wake of the Rushdie Affair||239|
|8||Ethnography, Literature, and Politics: Some Readings and Uses of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses||269|