Following Habermas' claim that the discourse on modernity is characterised by a critique of reason that privileges aesthetic experience free from constraints of time and space and by a narrative of increasing rationality, an important point of departure for re-framing debates about theory and method in the study of religions is made available. In Religion and the Discourse on Modernity, Paul Tremlett argues that the aesthetic critique of modernity is constitutive of Marxist and post-modern thought and also of aspects of the phenomenology of religion and its critique of 'profane' existence. He argues further that the Enlightenment promise of progressive rationality is constitutive of liberal and Marxist visions of modernity and the phenomenology of religion with its dream of global religious dialogue. This provides an opening for re-reading the likes of Otto, Eliade, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, de Certeau, Derrida and Bourdieu and for a new vision of the study of religions.
The point of departure for this book is the debate about whether religious studies should privilege explanation or understanding. Engaging with contemporary scholarship in the field, Tremlett argues that the study of religions has always involved the conflation of facts and values and indeed has been structured in advance by the value-saturated discourse on disenchanted modernity. He argues that phenomenological and post-modern approaches to religions lack both theoretical and methodological coherence, and in their stead proposes a Marxist approach to religions that is at once empirical and informed by values pertaining to social justice, freedom and autonomy.
"The objective of this book is to identify and examine the place of religion as an abstract category in modern Islamic discussions, from the nineteenth century to the present. Abdulkader Tayob shows how ideas of religion facilitated the transformation of Islamic discourses, both when accepting and resisting modernity. His central focus is on the intellectuals who grappled with reconciling Islam with successive waves of modernisation." "Religion in Modern Islamic Discourse begins with early discussions in Egypt and colonial India on the essence of religion and its social value in the light of modern challenges posed by science and politics. It then explores key contributions by twentieth-century Muslim intellectuals on the meaning of identity, state, law, and gender. Above all, Abdulkader Tayob offers the reader a creative way of understanding modern Islamic discourse, uncovering the deep structural foundations of its approach to religion, religious values and spirituality." --Book --
Religion, Modernity and Postmodernity is the first book to engage the study of religion with contemporary theorizing about culture. It addresses important issues such as whether there are postmodern forms of religion, whether theories of religion framed in terms of modernity can be recast to suit new or emerging circumstances, and how the study of religion can be better integrated with recent developments in the study of culture.
The affinity between melancholy and modernity is examined through a comprehensive re-examination of the writings of Soren Kierkegaard. The whole range of Kierkegaard's work is set in the context of a social and historical theory of melancholy. From this perspective Kierkegaard emerges as the most important and the most typical, psychologist of the modern era.
Socio-Political and Religious Thought of Vakkom Moulavi
Author: Jose Abraham
In Kerala, Vakkom Moulavi motivated Muslims to embrace modernity, especially modern education, in order to reap maximum benefit. In this process, he initiated numerous religious reforms. However, he held fairly ambivalent attitudes towards individualism, materialism and secularization, defending Islam against the attacks of Christian missionaries.
Shamanism, Discourse, Modernity considers indigenous peoples’ struggles for human rights, anxieties about anthropocentric mastery of nature, neoliberal statecraft, and entrepreneurialism of the self. The book focuses on four domains - shamanism, indigenism, environmentalism and neoliberalism - in terms of interrelated historical processes and overlapping discourses. In doing so, it engages with shamanism’s manifold meanings in a world increasingly sensitive to indigenous peoples’ practices of territoriality, increasingly concerned about humans’ integral relationship with natural environments, and increasingly encouraged and coerced to adjust self-conduct to comport with and augment government conduct.
Master's Thesis from the year 2015 in the subject Cultural Studies - North African Studies, grade: 1,7, University of Potsdam (Institute for Amerkanstik und Anglistik), course: Anglophne Modernities in Literature and Culture, language: English, abstract: The debates over the relationship between a Western secular modernity associated with specific historical practices and secular modernity as a universal category have never lost their momentum as a controversial topic in the discourse of modernization and the nature of both the modern society and individual. While according to the prevailing discourse in the West a universal secularism is based on a universal reason valid to all cultures, other Western as well as non-Western thinkers and sociologists, in particular postcolonial scholars, refute the possibility of a singular secular paradigm valid for all times. They argue that such a universal paradigm with its Western ideals negates non-Western histories and philosophies and thus is a hegemonic model of modernity. This paper is a critique of the unveiled secular modern / veiled religious traditional divide in the modernist discourse in light of current debates of both postmodernists and neo-secularists. Following the secularization process in postcolonial Tunisia as part of the state ́s modernization movement, this paper sheds light on the suppression of the non-Western religious actor under the narrative of a universal rational modernity in the modern age.
Written by scholars from a range of disciplines concerned with the Middle East and Islam (history, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, political science) and covering the Muslim world extensively (from Malaysia, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, and Israel/Palestine to Muslim communities in Europe and the United States), this important contribution to the debate on globalization sets a standard in dealing with this pervasive force in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies.
Cyril O’Regan and Christian Discourse after Modernity
Author: Philip John Paul Gonzales
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
What should Christian discourse look like after philosophical modernity? In one manner or another the essays in this volume seek to confront and intellectually exorcise the prevailing elements of philosophical modernity, which are inherently transgressive disfigurations and refigurations of the Christian story of creation, sin, and redemption. To enact these various forms and styles of Christian intellectual exorcism the essays in this volume make appeal to, and converse with, the magisterial corpus of Cyril O'Regan. The themes of the essays center around the gnostic return in modernity, apocalyptic theology, and the question of the bounds and borders of Christian orthodoxy. Along the way diverse figures are treated such as: Hegel, Shakespeare, von Balthasar, Przywara, Ricouer, Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, and Kristeva. Exorcising Philosophical Modernity: Cyril O'Regan and Christian Discourse after Modernity is a veritable feast of post-modern Christian thought.
Picking up on Edward Said's claim that the historical experience of empire is common to both the colonizer and the colonized, Peter van der Veer takes the case of religion to examine the mutual impact of Britain's colonization of India on Indian and British culture. He shows that national culture in both India and Britain developed in relation to their shared colonial experience and that notions of religion and secularity were crucial in imagining the modern nation in both countries. In the process, van der Veer chronicles how these notions developed in the second half of the nineteenth century in relation to gender, race, language, spirituality, and science. Avoiding the pitfalls of both world systems theory and national historiography, this book problematizes oppositions between modern and traditional, secular and religious, progressive and reactionary. It shows that what often are assumed to be opposites are, in fact, profoundly entangled. In doing so, it upsets the convenient fiction that India is the land of eternal religion, existing outside of history, while Britain is the epitome of modern secularity and an agent of history. Van der Veer also accounts for the continuing role of religion in British culture and the strong part religion has played in the development of Indian civil society. This masterly work of scholarship brings into view the effects of the very close encounter between India and Britain--an intimate encounter that defined the character of both nations.
Religious Discourse in Modern Japan explores the transportation of the Western concept of “religion” in in the modern era; the emergence of discourse on Shinto, philosophy, and Buddhism; and the evolution of the academic discipline of religious studies in Japan.
Recent events have focused attention on the perceived differences and tensions between the Muslim world and the modern West. As a major strand of Western public discourse has it, Islam appears resistant to internal development and remains inherently pre-modern. However Muslim societies have experienced most of the same structural changes that have impacted upon all societies: massive urbanisation, mass education, dramatically increased communication, the emergence of new types of institutions and associations, some measure of political mobilisation, and major transformations of the economy. These developments are accompanied by a wide range of social movements and by complex and varied religious and ideological debates. This textbook is a pioneering study providing an introduction to and overview of the debates and questions that have emerged regarding Islam and modernity. Key issues are selected to give readers an understanding of the complexity of the phenomenon from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The various manifestations of modernity in Muslim life discussed include social change and the transformation of political and religious institutions, gender politics, changing legal regimes, devotional practices and forms of religious association, shifts in religious authority, and modern developments in Muslim religious thought.
A Neo-Shariati Revisiting of Ali Shariati's Intellectual Discourse in Post-revolutionary Iran
Author: Siavash Saffari
Over three and a half decades after his death, Ali Shariati (1933-1977) continues to occupy a major place in the ongoing academic and public debates about the relationship between Islam and modernity. Seldom, however, have commentators attended to the ways in which Shariati's intellectual followers in post-revolutionary Iran have read his thought in relation to the condition, content, and negotiation of modernity in Iran and other contemporary Muslim societies. This dissertation seeks to address the existing research gap by examining new readings of Shariati's thought by a group of Iranian intellectuals and activists collectively known as neo-Shariatis. It argues that in post-revolutionary Iran, neo-Shariatis have read Shariati's revolutionary Islamic discourse as a project of indigenous modernity whose critical reexamination can serve the negotiation of a third way between hegemonic universalism (in the form of Enlightenment rationalism, authoritarian modernism, and autocratic secularism) and essentialist particularism (in the form of Islamism and other types of religious, cultural, and ethnic identitarianism). Drawing on the normative and methodological insights of the emerging subdiscipline of comparative political theory, the dissertation identifies the Shariati/neo-Shariati discourse as one among several other discourses of indigenous modernity in contemporary Muslim societies, and as part of a broader post-colonial reconfiguration and reclaiming of modernity. In examining the sociopolitical significance of the Shariati/neo-Shariati project, the dissertation focuses on the theorization of an account of progressive public religion and a contextually grounded discourse of egalitarian secular democracy in the contributions of Ehsan Shariati, Sara Shariati, Reza Alijani and other leading neo- Shariati figures. The dissertation also identifies some of the ways in which the Shariati/neo-Shariati critique of colonial modernity and the attempt to develop a counter-hegemonic discourse of modernity on the basis of an Islamic spiritual ontology finds common ground with the discourses of various Western and non-Western critics of colonial modernity and Enlightenment rationality, and contributes to the advancement of a post-colonial vision of cosmopolitanism.
Religion has long been a powerful cultural, social, and political force in the Himalaya. Increased economic and cultural flows, growth in tourism, and new forms of governance and media, however, have brought significant changes to the religious traditions of the region in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This book presents detailed case studies of lived religion in the Himalaya in this context of rapid change to offer intra-regional perspectives on the ways in which lived religions are being re-configured or re-imagined. Based on original fieldwork, this book documents understudied forms of religion in the region and presents unique perspectives on the phenomenon and experience of religion, discussing why, when, and where practices, discourses, and the category of religion itself, are engaged by varying communities in the region. It yields fruitful insights into both the religious traditions and lived human experiences of Himalayan peoples in the modern era. Presenting new research and perspectives on the Himalayan region, this book should be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and Modernity.
Spatial Articulations in Southeast Asia and East Asia
Category: Social Science
The volume Religion, Place and Modernity explores the spatial articulation of religion and modernity in and through places in Southeast and East Asia. Based on ethnographic, historical and theoretical research, the authors aim at a deeper understanding of the articulation of a religious modernity.
Like anywhere else, the present-day Islamic world too is grappling with modernity and postmodernity, secularisation and globalisation. Muslims are raising questions about religious representations and authority. This has given rise to the emergence of alternative Islamic discourses which challenge binary oppositions and dichotomies of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, continuity and change, state and civil society. It also leads to a dispersal of authority, a collapse of existing hierarchical structures and gender roles. This book further argues that the centre of gravity of many of these alternative Islamic discourses is shifting from the Arabic-speaking 'heartland' towards the geographical peripheries of the Muslim world and expatriate Muslims in North America and Europe. At the same time, in view of recent seismic shifts in the political constellation of the Middle East, the trends discussed in this book hold important clues for the possible direction of future developments in that volatile part of the Muslim world.
This important new volume brings together Habermas' key writing on religion and religious belief. Habermas explores the relations between Christian and Jewish thought, on the one hand, and the Western philosophical tradition on the other. In so doing, he examines a range of important figures, including Benjamin, Heidegger, Johann Baptist Metz and Gershom Scholem. In a new introduction written especially for this volume, Eduardo Mendieta places Habermas' engagement with religion in the context of his work as a whole. Mendieta also discusses Habermas' writings in relation to Jewish Messianism and the Frankfurt School, showing how the essays in Religion and Rationality, one of which is translated into English for the first time, foreground an important, yet often neglected, dimension of critical theory. The volume concludes with an original extended interview, also in English for the first time, in which Habermas develops his current views on religion in modern society. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in theology, religious studies and philosophy, as well as to all those already familiar with Habermas' work.