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August 1, 1993
9780801846328
English
344
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v2.1 Reference
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December 1, 2009
9780801895937
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v2.1 Reference

Genealogies of Religion

Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam

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."

About the Author

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

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.

- Ralph M. Coury - Religious Studies Review

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.

- James R. Wood - Contemporary Sociology
Johns Hopkins University Press
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