Questioning Secularism

Questioning Secularism

Author: Hussein Ali Agrama

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226010700

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 375

The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart. Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.

Questioning Secularism

Questioning Secularism

Author: Hussein Ali Agrama

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226010687

Category: Law

Page: 297

View: 591

What, exactly, is secularism? What has the West's long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In this work, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart.

Questioning French Secularism

Questioning French Secularism

Author: Jennifer Selby

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9781137011329

Category: Social Science

Page: 247

View: 635

Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this book examines how contemporary secularism in France is positioned as a guarantor of women’s rights. Selby argues that the complex “fetishization” of headscarves in public, governmental, and feminist French discourse positions publicly-visible Muslim women in ways that obscure their engagement with laïcité (French secularism).

Secularism in the Arab World

Secularism in the Arab World

Author: Aziz al-Azmeh

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 9781474447492

Category: HISTORY

Page: 592

View: 619

This book is a translation of Aziz al-Azmeh's seminal work Al-'Ilmaniya min mandhur mukhtalif that was first published in Beirut in 1992. Both celebrated and criticised for its reflections on Arab secularisation and secularism in the modern history of the Arab World, it is the only study to date to approach its subject as a set of historical changes which affected the regulation of the social, political and cultural order, and which permeated the concrete workings of society, rather than as an ideological discussion framed from the outset by the assumed opposition between Islam and secularism. The author takes a comprehensive analytical perspective to show that an almost imperceptible yet real, multi-faceted and objective secularising process has been underway in the Arab world since the 1850s. The early onset was the result of adapting to systemic novelties introduced at the time and a reaction to the perceived European advance and local retardation. The need for meaningful reform, and the actions taken in order to put in place a new organisation of state and society based on modern organisational and educational criteria, rather than older, religious traditions, stemmed from the perceived weakness of Arab polities and from an internal drive to overcome this situation. The book follows these themes into the close of the 20th century, marked with the rise of Islamism. A preface to the English translation takes a retrospective look at the theme from the vantage point of social, political and intellectual issues of relevance today.

Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy

Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy

Author: Nader Hashemi

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199886524

Category: Religion

Page: 310

View: 462

Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

Author: Phil Zuckerman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199988457

Category: Religion

Page: 793

View: 204

As recent headlines reveal, conflicts and debates around the world increasingly involve secularism. National borders and traditional religions cannot keep people in tidy boxes as political struggles, doctrinal divergences, and demographic trends are sweeping across regions and entire continents. And secularity is increasing in society, with a growing number of people in many regions having no religious affiliation or lacking interest in religion. Simultaneously, there is a resurgence of religious participation in the politics of many countries. How might these diverse phenomena be better understood? Long-reigning theories about the pace of secularization and ideal church-state relations are under invigorated scrutiny by scholars studying secularism with new questions, better data, and fresh perspectives. The Oxford Handbook of Secularism offers a wide-ranging and in-depth examination of this global conversation, bringing together the views of an international collection of prominent experts in their respective fields. This is the essential volume for comprehending the core issues and methodological approaches to the demographics and sociology of secularity; the history and variety of political secularisms; the comparison of constitutional secularisms across many countries from America to Asia; the key problems now convulsing church-state relations; the intersections of liberalism, multiculturalism, and religion; the latest psychological research into secular lives and lifestyles; and the naturalistic and humanistic worldviews available to nonreligious people.

Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference

Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference

Author: Linell E. Cady

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231536042

Category: Religion

Page: 344

View: 858

Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.

The Post-secular in Question

The Post-secular in Question

Author: Philip Gorski

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814738726

Category: Political Science

Page: 381

View: 415

"This collection of original essays by leading academics represents an interdisciplinary intervention in the continuing and ever-transforming discussion of the role of religion and secularism in today's world. Foregrounding the most urgent and compelling questions raised by the place of religion in the social sciences, past and present, The Post-Secular in Question restores religion to a more central place in social scientific thinking about the world, helping to move scholarship 'beyond unbelief.'"--book jacket.

Questioning the Secular State

Questioning the Secular State

Author: David Westerlund

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 0312125224

Category: Religion

Page: 428

View: 868

This volume also differs from many others on contemporary 'fundamentalism' in having a clear theme: how, according to anti-secularist groups in various religions, the state should interact with the religious entities within its area - and how and to what extent anti-secularist movements, organisations and individuals oppose secularism and wish to reinforce the role of religion in political life

Religious Difference in a Secular Age

Religious Difference in a Secular Age

Author: Saba Mahmood

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691153285

Category: Social Science

Page: 254

View: 929

How secular governance in the Middle East is making life worse—not better—for religious minorities The plight of religious minorities in the Middle East is often attributed to the failure of secularism to take root in the region. Religious Difference in a Secular Age challenges this assessment by examining four cornerstones of secularism—political and civil equality, minority rights, religious freedom, and the legal separation of private and public domains. Drawing on her extensive fieldwork in Egypt with Coptic Orthodox Christians and Bahais—religious minorities in a predominantly Muslim country—Saba Mahmood shows how modern secular governance has exacerbated religious tensions and inequalities rather than reduced them. Tracing the historical career of secular legal concepts in the colonial and postcolonial Middle East, she explores how contradictions at the very heart of political secularism have aggravated and amplified existing forms of Islamic hierarchy, bringing minority relations in Egypt to a new historical impasse. Through a close examination of Egyptian court cases and constitutional debates about minority rights, conflicts around family law, and controversies over freedom of expression, Mahmood invites us to reflect on the entwined histories of secularism in the Middle East and Europe. A provocative work of scholarship, Religious Difference in a Secular Age challenges us to rethink the promise and limits of the secular ideal of religious equality.

Questioning French Secularism

Questioning French Secularism

Author: Jennifer Selby

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 1349585408

Category: Social Science

Page: 247

View: 716

Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this book analyzes public discourses on secularism in France to consider how Islam becomes subsumed under the fetishized headscarf, how women's bodies come to represent collective identities, and how the activism and engagement of suburban Muslim women with secular politics is ignored.

The I.B.Tauris Handbook of Sociology and the Middle East

The I.B.Tauris Handbook of Sociology and the Middle East

Author: Fatma Müge Göçek

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9780755639434

Category: Social Science

Page: 521

View: 219

What we understand by the 'Middle East' has changed over time and across space. While scholars agree that the geographical 'core' of the Middle East is the Arabian Peninsula, the boundaries are less clear. How far back in time should we go to define the Middle East? How far south and east should we move on the African continent? And how do we deal with the minority religions in the region, and those who migrate to the West? Across this handbook's 52 chapters, the leading sociologists writing on the Middle East share their standpoint on these questions. Taking the featured scholars as constitutive of the field, the handbook reshapes studies on the region by piecing together our knowledge on the Middle East from their path-defining contributions. The volume is divided into four parts covering sociologists' perspectives on: · Social transformations and social conflict; from Israel-Palestine and the Iranian Revolution, to the Arab Uprisings and the Syrian War · The region's economic, religious and political activities; including the impact of the spread of Western modernity; the effects of neo-liberalism; and how Islam shapes the region's life and politics · People's everyday practices as they have shaped our understanding of culture, consumption, gender and sexuality · The diasporas from the Middle East in Europe and North America, which put the Middle East in dialogue with other regions of the world. The global approach and wide-ranging topics represent how sociologists enable us to redefine the boundaries and identities of the Middle East today.