Secularisms

Secularisms

Hardback Social Text Books

Edited by Janet R. Jakobsen, Edited by Ann Pellegrini

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  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 236mm x 30mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 30 March 2008
  • Publication City/Country: North Carolina
  • ISBN 10: 0822341255
  • ISBN 13: 9780822341253
  • Edition statement: New ed.

Product description

At a time when secularism is put forward as the answer to religious fundamentalism and violence, "Secularisms" offers a powerful, multifaceted critique of the narrative equating secularism with modernity, reason, freedom, peace, and progress. Bringing together essays by scholars based in religious studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, science studies, anthropology, and political science, this volume challenges the binary conception of "conservative" religion versus "progressive" secularism. With essays addressing secularism in India, Iran, Turkey, Great Britain, China and the United States, Secularisms crucially complicates this dominant narrative by showing that secularism is multiple. How secularism is lived and experienced varies with its national, regional, and religious context. The religious traditions explored in relation to local secularisms range from Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism to Christianity. Several contributors explicitly take up the way feminism has been implicated in the dominant secularization story. Ultimately, by dislodging secularism's connection to the single (and singular) progress narrative, this volume seeks to open spaces for other possible narratives about both secularism and religion - as well as for other possible ways of inhabiting the contemporary world.

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Author information

Janet R. Jakobsen is Director of the Center for Research on Women at Barnard College. She is the author of "Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diversity and Feminist Ethics" and a coeditor of "Interventions: Activists and Academics Respond to Violence."Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies at New York University. She is the author of "Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race" and a coeditor of "Queer Theory and the Jewish Question." Jakobsen and Pellegrini are coauthors of "Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance."

Review quote

"This collection of essays brings together an array of issues on the complexities of the various modern secular formations in theory and practice...the volume signifies the pluralities of secularisms in different times and spaces. The editors of the book deserve special praise because of the structured presentation of core arguments and the successful organization of the chapters over the 400 pages of the volume...The major strength of the work lies in its ability to link theoretically and analyze empirically the critical questions on secular practices, thereby making a strong plea for openness towards pluralities in the present world." Chandran Komath, Contemporary South Asia "Do you think you already know what secularism means? One virtue of this book is that the authors examine several modes and dimensions of secularism in different places, always closely attentive to the specific religious practices with which it is imbricated. Another is that the essays, taken together, loosen up the political imagination, allowing us to think outside the two-slot system--'either secularism or theocracy'--which has such debilitating effects on political thought. An admirable collection of essays."--William E. Connolly, author of Capitalism and Christianity, American Style

Back cover copy

"Do you think you already know what "secularism" means? One virtue of this book is that the authors examine several modes and dimensions of secularism in different places, always closely attentive to the specific religious practices with which it is imbricated. Another is that the essays, taken together, loosen up the political imagination, allowing us to think outside the two-slot system--'either secularism or theocracy'--which has such debilitating effects on political thought. An admirable collection of essays."--William E. Connolly, author of "Capitalism and Christianity, American Style"

Table of contents

Introduction: Times Like These / Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini Part 1 Secular Interventions 1. (Un)Veiling Feminism / Afsaneh Najmabadi; 2. Secularism and Laicism in Turkey / Taha Parla and Andrew Davison; 3. Women between Community and State: Some Implications of the Uniform Civil Code Debates / Rajeswari Sunder Rajan; 4. Other Moderns, Other Jews: Revisiting Jewish Secularism in America / Laura Levitt; 5. Disappearances: Race, Religion, and the Progress Narrative of U.S. Feminism / Tracy Fessenden; 6. Late Secularism / Robert J. Baird; 7. What Tangled Webs We Weave: Science, Secularism, and Religion in Contemporary India / Banu Subramaniam Part 2 Secular Relations: Micronarratives 8. Secularizing the Pain of Footbinding in China: Missionary and Medical Stagings of the Universal Body / Angela Zito; 9. Ghostly Appearances / Geeta Patel; 10. "The Quick, the Dead, and the Yet Unborn": Untimely Sexualities and Secular Hauntings / Molly McGarry Part 3 Public Alternatives 11. Toward Secular Diaspora: Relocating Religion and Politics / Tyler Roberts; 12. Feminisms and Secularisms / Kathleen Sands; 13. Continuity or Rupture? An Argument for Secular Britain / Ranu Samantrai