The following article addresses the political dimension of identity in its complex interrelations with memory on one hand and normativity on the other. Identity, as Amartya Sen has shown, is neither an essence nor a function of religious belonging, as determinists and reductionists have assumed, but the result of an active process of choice. Autonomous choice, however, does not take place outside of time and space, far from external resistance and contradictions, but is rooted in situations, emotions, corporeality and all sorts of qualitative dimensions. Identity, that is, is neither passivity nor unbound freedom. It is “invention”, as Said has suggested: an unstable compromise of past, present and future that is the work of imagination. By drawing on categories from Arendt and Taylor, the interplay of memory, imagination and identity is explored from the point of view of contemporary social theory and its challenges, and the notion of “memory politics” is brought to bear on controversial issues such as the cohabitation of secular and religious worldviews in a multicultural society
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Background.[author unknown] - 2004 - The Chesterton Review 30 (3-4):411-413.

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