Talal Asad explains the marginalization of religion in liberal democracies by invoking the modern state's desire to control. This paper argues that, in the Anglophone world, self-conscious secularism played little or no part in the secularization of public life. The expansion of the secular sphere was primarily an unintended consequence of actions by religious impositionists. Far from leading the promotion of the secular, the state had to be pressed by the demands of religious minorities to reduce the powers of established religion. The state provision of secular social services was usually a reaction to the inability of competing religious organizations to continue their provision. As this review of church–state relations in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand shows, the reduction in the social power of religion owed more to the failure of Christians to agree than to a deliberately secularizing state.
An Empirical Critique of Asad
Voice and the Transpositions of History in Religious Zionist Pilgrimage
Alejandro I. Paz
This article examines how Elad, a religious Zionist settler group, attempts to reanimate biblical tales by transposing biblical text as part of tours for Jewish visitors to the City of David archaeological site in East Jerusalem. Since the early 1990s, Elad has created controversy by settling in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, provoking criticism from Israeli archaeologists and peace activists. In an effort to avoid 'politics' during tours, the group emphasizes a now globalized historicist reading of the Bible, an interpretation popularized by archaeology over the last century and a half. The article considers how transposition from this historicist reading into the here and now is a rhetorical device used to create a biblical realism that does not yet exist in the contested landscape. However, rather than producing an erasure of the Palestinian presence, and in contradiction to the professed desire to refrain from politics, I show that the very communicative situation and multiple framings for producing this biblical realism inevitably remind visitors of the contemporary context.
In Response to Charlie
Faisal Devji, Jane Garnett, Ghassan Hage, and Sondra L. Hausner
There is a close relation between satire and secularism as the latter came to emerge in Europe. Secularism, as is well-known, gained strength historically as a reaction to an era of European interreligious violence and massacres. It was not only a desire for the separation of church and state, as the classical formula has it. It was also an attempt to keep religious affect out of politics. This was in the belief that religion, because it is faith rather than reasoned thinking, produces too much of a narcissistic affect—that the faithful are unable to ‘keep their distance’ from what they believe in. It was thought that this narcissism was behind the murderous intensity of religiously driven conflicts. Being able to laugh at yourself literally means being able to not take yourself overly seriously. This, in turn, is crucial for the deintensification of the affects generated by the defense of what one believes in and for the relativization of one’s personal beliefs. Such relativization, as Claude Lévi- Strauss argued, is crucial for thinking oneself comparatively and in relation to others (the opposite of narcissism).
What Can We Learn from Hybridity?
local, and for transitional justice processes themselves to reflect this. This reflects ambivalence within the practice of transitional justice: a desire to apply and support international law and norms on human rights and their violations, while at the
Michael D. Jackson
interrupts, unsettles, and resists the moral assumptions and logocentric modes of discourse we tend to privilege in our desire to protect the status quo, govern the world, or render it intelligible. REFERENCES Graeber , David . 2011 . Debt: The First 5
The Dialectics of Displacement and Emplacement
Henrik Vigh and Jesper Bjarnesen
generate novel social positions, avenues of mobility, and worth in the process of dismantling old ones. They instantiate formations and relations that come to inform more socially oriented fears and desires and become frames of action and understanding
Four Exhibitions on Jerusalem
Sa'ed Atshan and Katharina Galor
conflate the past and the present. The archeology and cultural heritage of the city is often mired in the politics of ethno-religious contestation grounded in a desire for redress from victimhood. Thus, for many or even most Jewish Israelis, Jerusalem
Sam Jackson, Áron Bakos, Birgitte Refslund Sørensen, and Matti Weisdorf
with a desire to do right regardless of the costs” [p. 49]); together, victimhood and heroism lead to disdain for compromise. The remainder of the book moves to more concrete discussion of features of the American far right. Without going into much
From “Predicaments of Mobility” to “Potentialities in Displacement”
Stephen C. Lubkemann
almost all cases the likelihood of the desired outcome was closely correlated with a spike in conflict and danger in the particular country in question. I found that the pursuit of what was sometimes referred to as “the ticket” (to America) had led
Kim Knibbe, Brenda Bartelink, Jelle Wiering, Karin B. Neutel, Marian Burchardt, and Joan Wallach Scott
. Here, again, I found Scott’s summary of what she calls the confusion between women as ‘desiring subjects’ and ‘desired objects’ useful in relation to how representations of Dutch history inform present-day debates and self-perceptions. An iconic moment