Religion The Secular And The Politics Of Sexual Difference


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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.

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Author by Linell E. Cady
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 344
ISBN Number 9780231536042

Sex And Secularism


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How gender inequality is built into the conception of modern secular nation-states Joan Wallach Scott’s acclaimed writings have been foundational for the field of gender history. With Sex and Secularism, she challenges one of the central claims of the "clash of civilizations" polemic—that secularism guarantees gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as an enduring principle was not originally associated with the term "secularism" when it first entered the nineteenth-century lexicon. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity. Scott reveals how the assertion that secularism has been synonymous with equality between the sexes has distracted our attention from difficulties related to gender difference—ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.

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Author by Joan Wallach Scott
Genre eBook History
Read Book 240
ISBN Number 9780691197227

Religion Secularism And Constitutional Democracy


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Polarization between political religionists and militant secularists on both sides of the Atlantic is on the rise. Critically engaging with traditional secularism and religious accommodationism, this collection introduces a constitutional secularism that robustly meets contemporary challenges. It identifies which connections between religion and the state are compatible with the liberal, republican, and democratic principles of constitutional democracy and assesses the success of their implementation in the birthplace of political secularism: the United States and Western Europe. Approaching this issue from philosophical, legal, historical, political, and sociological perspectives, the contributors wage a thorough defense of their project's theoretical and institutional legitimacy. Their work brings fresh insight to debates over the balance of human rights and religious freedom, the proper definition of a nonestablishment norm, and the relationship between sovereignty and legal pluralism. They discuss the genealogy of and tensions involving international legal rights to religious freedom, religious symbols in public spaces, religious arguments in public debates, the jurisdiction of religious authorities in personal law, and the dilemmas of religious accommodation in national constitutions and public policy when it violates international human rights agreements or liberal-democratic principles. If we profoundly rethink the concepts of religion and secularism, these thinkers argue, a principled adjudication of competing claims becomes possible.

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Author by Jean L. Cohen
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 492
ISBN Number 9780231540735

The Politics Of Secularism


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Discussions of modernity—or alternative and multiple modernities—often hinge on the question of secularism, especially how it travels outside its original European context. Too often, attempts to answer this question either imagine a universal model derived from the history of Western Europe, which neglects the experience of much of the world, or emphasize a local, non-European context that limits the potential for comparison. In The Politics of Secularism, Murat Akan reframes the question of secularism, exploring its presence both outside and inside Europe and offering a rich empirical account of how it moves across borders and through time. Akan uses France and Turkey to analyze political actors' comparative discussions of secularism, struggles for power, and historical contextual constraints at potential moments of institutional change. France and Turkey are critical sites of secularism: France exemplifies European political modernity, and Turkey has long been the model of secularism in a Muslim-majority country. Akan analyzes prominent debates in both countries on topics such as the visibility of the headscarf and other religious symbols, religion courses in the public school curriculum, and state salaries for clerics and imams. Akan lays out the institutional struggles between three distinct political currents—anti-clericalism, liberalism, and what he terms state-civil religionism—detailing the nuances of how political movements articulate the boundary between the secular and the religious. Disputing the prevalent idea that diversity is a new challenge to secularism and focusing on comparison itself as part of the politics of secularism, this book makes a major contribution to understanding secular politics and its limits.

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Author by Murat Akan
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 357
ISBN Number 9780231543804

Choreographies Of Shared Sacred Sites


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This anthology explores the dynamics of shared religious sites in Turkey, the Balkans, Palestine/Israel, Cyprus, and Algeria, indicating where local and national stakeholders maneuver between competition and cooperation, coexistence and conflict. Contributors probe the notion of coexistence and the logic that underlies centuries of "sharing," exploring when and why sharing gets interrupted—or not—by conflict, and the policy consequences. These essays map the choreographies of shared sacred spaces within the framework of state-society relations, juxtaposing a site's political and religious features and exploring whether sharing or contestation is primarily religious or politically motivated. Although religion and politics are intertwined phenomena, the contributors to this volume understand the category of "religion" and the "political" as devices meant to distinguish between the theological and confessional aspects of religion and the political goals of groups. Their comparative approach better represents the transition in some cases of sites into places of hatred and violence, while in other instances they remain noncontroversial. The essays clearly delineate the religious and political factors that contribute to the context and causality of conflict at these sites and draw on history and anthropology to shed light on the often rapid switch from relative tolerance to distress to peace and calm.

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Author by Elazar Barkan
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 384
ISBN Number 9780231538060

Blood


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Blood, according to Gil Anidjar, maps the singular history of Christianity. As a category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law. Engaging with a variety of sources, Anidjar explores the presence and the absence, the making and unmaking of blood in philosophy and medicine, law and literature, and economic and political thought from ancient Greece to medieval Spain, from the Bible to Shakespeare and Melville. The prevalence of blood in the social, juridical, and political organization of the modern West signals that we do not live in a secular age into which religion could return. Flowing across multiple boundaries, infusing them with violent precepts that we must address, blood undoes the presumed oppositions between religion and politics, economy and theology, and kinship and race. It demonstrates that what we think of as modern is in fact imbued with Christianity. Christianity, Blood fiercely argues, must be reconsidered beyond the boundaries of religion alone.

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Author by Gil Anidjar
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 560
ISBN Number 9780231537254

Religious Difference In A Secular Age


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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.

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Author by Saba Mahmood
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 248
ISBN Number 9780691153285

The Politics Of The Veil


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In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all. Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions. The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.

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Author by Joan Wallach Scott
Genre eBook History
Read Book 224
ISBN Number 9780691147987

Infidel Feminism


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Infidel feminism is the first in-depth study of a distinctive brand of women's rights that emerged out of the Victorian Secularist movement. Anti-religious or secular ideas were fundamental to the development of feminist thought, but have, until now, been almost entirely passed over in the historiography of the Victorian and Edwardian women's movement. In uncovering an important tradition of Freethinking feminism, this book reveals an ongoing radical and free love current connecting Owenite feminism with the more 'respectable' post-1850 women's movement and the 'New Women' of the early twentieth century. Schwartz looks at the lives and work of a number of female activists associated with organised Secularism, whose renunciation of religion encouraged and shaped their support for women's emancipation. These self-proclaimed 'infidel' feminists championed moral autonomy, free speech, and the democratic dissemination of knowledge. Alongside their rejection of god-given notions of sexual difference and a critique of the Christian institution of marriage such Freethinking principles provided powerful intellectual tools with which to challenge dominant and oppressive constructions of womanhood. Their contribution to the wider feminist movement was significant at a time when the issue of women's rights was integral to the creation of modern definitions of 'religion' and 'secularism' and when feminists and anti-feminists, Christians and Freethinkers battled over who had women's best interests at heart. This book will be invaluable to both scholars and students of social and cultural history and feminist thought, and to interdisciplinary studies of religion and secularisation. Its accessible style will also ensure that it appeals to those interested in the history of women's movements more broadly.

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Author by Laura Schwartz
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 256
ISBN Number 0719097282

Postsecular Feminisms


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Postsecular Feminisms explores the contested relationship between feminism and secularism through a series of case studies, featuring perspectives from the global North and South. It offers insights beyond those of the Abrahamic traditions, and includes multiple examples from South Asia. By decentering the European experience, Postsecular Feminisms shows how secularism and feminism have been constituted in North America, South Asia, and Anglophone West Africa. The book asks: can postsecular feminism offer a way to think about religion and gender so as to support women in all the variety of their lived experiences? The contributors show that postsecular feminism is a variety of feminism that is not necessarily either secularist or anti-secular. Rather it is feminism informed by a history of secularist bias within liberal feminism. Postsecular Feminisms explores both the potentials and pitfalls of postsecular feminisms, with some authors arguing that a contextually grounded praxis is possible, while others make a strong case against postsecular feminism as theory and practice.

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Author by Nandini Deo
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 240
ISBN Number 9781350038073