Advertisement

Religious Aspirations, Public Religion, and the Secularity of Pluralism

  • Patrick Eisenlohr
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)

Abstract

The salience of religious activism and mobilizations throughout the contemporary world is perhaps the main reason for the popularity of the notion of the postsecular. The latter is inspired by hopes for greater inclusiveness towards religious groups and their aspirations, realizing that they are not necessarily incompatible with emancipatory political agendas, as well as the insight that religion remains a key component of social and political life that no amount of modernizing ‘progress’ and expansion of scientific knowledge can make disappear. At the same time, the term also owes much of its currency to the assumption that religion had actually been pushed back by modernization processes but has now ‘returned.’ However, an array of scholarship has demonstrated that religion actually never went away but was powerfully transformed by European imperial expansion and the rise of the nation state (Asad, 2003; Masuzawa, 2005; van der Veer, 2001). To make matters more complex, it is now increasingly clear that the modern comparative category of ‘religion’ that provides the basis for any discussion of secularization is actually the product of the same modernization processes that until relatively recently were widely believed to be responsible for an assumed decline of religion. Modern practices of governmentality delineated religion as a sphere of life separate from politics, law, economy, science, and society, and, as such, the universal category of religion is co-constituted through what is frequently regarded as its binary opposite, the secular.

Keywords

Religious Tradition Religious Activism Religious Diversity Contemporary World Mahatma Gandhi Institute 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Asad, T. (1999). ‘Religion, Nation-State, Secularism.’ In P. van der Veer and H. Lehmann (eds) Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, 178–196. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Asad, T— (2003). Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bhargava, R. (2007). ‘The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism.’ In T.N. Srinivasan (ed.) The Future of Secularism, 20–53. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Braidotti, R. (2008). ‘In Spite of the Times: The Postsecular Turn in Feminism.’ Theory, Culture & Society 25(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casanova, J. (1994). Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Comaroff, J. and Comaroff, J. (1999). ‘Occult Economies and the Violence of Abstraction: Notes from the South African Postcolony.’ American Ethnologist 12(2), 291–343.Google Scholar
  7. Csordas, T. (2009). ‘Introduction: Modalities of Transnational Transcendence.’ In T. Csordas (ed.) Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization, 1–30. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Edun, E.H. (1984). ‘Tajjia (Tazzia).’ In Uttam Bissoondoyal (ed.) Indians Overseas: The Mauritia Experience, 28–34. Moka, Mauritius: Mahatma Gandhi Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Eisenlohr, P. (2006a). ‘The Politics of Diaspora and the Morality of Secularism: Muslim Identities and Islamic Authority in Mauritius.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 12(2), 395–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisenlohr, P— (2006b). Little India: Diaspora, Time and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  11. Eisenlohr, P— (2012). ‘Cosmopolitanism, Globalization, and Islamic Piety Movements in Mauritius.’ City & Society 24(1), 7–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Madan, T.N. (1998). ‘Secularism in Its Place.’ In R. Bhargava (ed.) Secularism and Its Critics, 297–320. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Masuzawa, T. (2005). The Invention of World Religions, or How European Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nandy, A. (1990). ‘The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance.’ In V. Das (ed.) Mirrors of Violence, 69–93. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Parsuraman, A. (1988). From Ancestral Cultures to National Culture: Mauritius. Moka, Mauritius: Mahatma Gandhi Institute Press.Google Scholar
  16. Robbins, J. (2009). ‘Is the Trans- in Transnational the Trans- in Transcendent? On Alterity and the Sacred in the Age of Globalization.’ In T. Csordas (ed.) Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization, 55–72. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  17. Roy, O. (2004). Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Rudnyckyj, D. (2009). ‘Spiritual Economies: Islam and Neoliberalism in Contemporary Indonesia.’ Cultural Anthropology 24(1), 104–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor, C. (2006). ‘Religious Mobilizations.’ Public Culture 18(2), 281–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. — (2007). A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. — (2010). ‘Afterword: Apologia pro Libro suo.’ In M. Warner, J. Vanantwerpen, and C. Calhoun (eds) Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age, 300–321. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. van der Veer, P. (2001). Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Eisenlohr 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Eisenlohr

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations