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

Authors
Yolande Jansen
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
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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