Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (9):977-998 (2011)

Yolande Jansen
University of Amsterdam
This article analyses how recent critiques of secularism in political philosophy and cultural anthropology might productively be combined and contrasted with each other. I will show that Jürgen Habermas' postsecularism takes insufficient account of elementary criticisms of secularism on the part of anthropologists such as Talal Asad and Saba Mahmood. However, I shall also criticize Saba Mahmood’s reading of secularism by arguing that, in the end, she replaces the secular–religious divide with a secularity–piety divide; for example, in her reading of Nasr Abu Zayd’s secular Islamic hermeneutics. This inhibits the use of her framework of analysis for a criticism of a problem central to Habermas' postsecularism, namely that it remains focused on specific intensities of belief. I shall then argue that, combined with the anthropological critiques of the secular, the political-historical nature of the fanaticism–piety–violence nexus should be integrated into political philosophical debates on secularism and postsecularism
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DOI 10.1177/0191453711416083
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Saba Mahmood and Anthropological Feminism After Virtue.Sindre Bangstad - 2011 - Theory, Culture and Society 28 (3):28-54.
The Separation of Religion and Politics in a Post-Secular Society.Alessandro Ferrara - 2009 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (1-2):77-91.

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