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Genealogies of Religion

Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam

Talal Asad

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In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept.

The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these…

In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept.

The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making."

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Genealogies of Religion

Talal Asad

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Reviews

Reviews

This eloquent, lucid, and complex work is the product of remarkable intelligence and erudition; it is a profound contribution to the understanding of the cultural hegemony of the West.

All articles are extremely well written, exhibit impressive scholarship, and are thoughtful and are thoughtful and stimulating. Asad's criticisms are neither judgmental nor self-righteous but are generally driven by the will to understand.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
344
ISBN
9780801846328
Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: Genealogies
Chapter 1. The Construction of Religion As An Anthropological Category
Chapter 2. Toward a Genealogy of the Concept of Ritual
Part II: Archaisms
Chapter 3. Pain and Truth

Introduction
Part I: Genealogies
Chapter 1. The Construction of Religion As An Anthropological Category
Chapter 2. Toward a Genealogy of the Concept of Ritual
Part II: Archaisms
Chapter 3. Pain and Truth in Medieval Christian Ritual
Chapter 4. On Discipline and Humility in Medieval Christian Monasticism
Part III: Translations
Chapter 5. The Concept of Cultural Translation in British Social Anthropology
Chapter 6. The Limits of Religious Criticism in the Middle East: Notes on Islamic Public Argument
Part IV: Polemics
Chapter 7. Multiculturalism and British Identity in the Wake of the Rushdie Affair
Chapter 8. Ethnography, Literature, and Politics: Some Readings and Uses of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses
References
Acknowledgements
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Talal Asad

Talal Asad is a professor of anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University.