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Genealogies of Religion
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 344

Genealogies of Religion

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2009-12-01
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  • Publisher: JHU Press

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." -- James R. Wood

Formations of the Secular
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 269

Formations of the Secular

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.

On Suicide Bombing
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 128

On Suicide Bombing

Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death"--a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and resea...

Powers of the Secular Modern
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 355

Powers of the Secular Modern

This book presents a set of critical engagements by writers from a variety of disciplines with the work of noted anthropologist Talal Asad.

The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 22

The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 1986
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  • Publisher: Unknown

None

Is Critique Secular?
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 148

Is Critique Secular?

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2013
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  • Publisher: Unknown

In this volume, four leading thinkers of our times confront the paradoxes and dilemmas attending the supposed stand-off between Islam and liberal democratic values. Taking the controversial Danish cartoons of Mohammad as a point of departure, Talal Asad, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, and Saba Mahmood inquire into the evaluative frameworks at stake in understanding the conflicts between blasphemy and free speech, between religious taboos and freedoms of thought and expression, and between secular and religious world views. Is the language of the law an adequate mechanism for the adjudication of such conflicts? What other modes of discourse are available for the navigation of such differences in multicultural and multi-religious societies? What is the role of critique in such an enterprise? These are among the pressing questions this volume addresses.

Secular Translations
  • Language: en

Secular Translations

In Secular Translations, the anthropologist Talal Asad reflects on his lifelong engagement with secularism and its contradictions. In a consideration of translatability and untranslatability, he explores the ways ideas are translated between histories and cultures and the ways religious ideas are translated into nonreligious ones. Translation opens the door for—or requires—the utter transformation of the translated. In search of meeting points between the language of Islam and the language of secular reason, Asad gives particular importance to the varieties of transformations of religious language into the idioms of secularism. He discusses the claim that liberal conceptions of equality ...

Introduction (Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter)
  • Language: en

Introduction (Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter)

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: Unknown
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  • Publisher: Unknown

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The Kababish Arabs
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 263

The Kababish Arabs

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Theories of Religion
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 524

Theories of Religion

This book provides a comprehensive selection of readings that relate to and explore the definition of religion. The texts come from a wide range of approaches, unified both by the questions they address and their broadly social scientific perspective. The disciplines covered include anthropology, phenomenology, psychology and sociology. The editors have also included some key texts relating to the feminist approach to and critique of religion. The initial section of the book includes some of the foundational texts, such as materials by Marx, Freud, and Durkheim. The remaining sections look at more recent discussions of the issues from the different disciplinary perspectives. Each reading is ...