Search Results for "the-republic-unsettled-muslim-french-and-the-contradictions-of-secularism"

The Republic Unsettled

The Republic Unsettled

Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism

  • Author: Mayanthi L. Fernando
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • ISBN: 0822376288
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 328
  • View: 4816
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In 1989 three Muslim schoolgirls from a Paris suburb refused to remove their Islamic headscarves in class. The headscarf crisis signaled an Islamic revival among the children of North African immigrants; it also ignited an ongoing debate about the place of Muslims within the secular nation-state. Based on ten years of ethnographic research, The Republic Unsettled alternates between an analysis of Muslim French religiosity and the contradictions of French secularism that this emergent religiosity precipitated. Mayanthi L. Fernando explores how Muslim French draw on both Islamic and secular-republican traditions to create novel modes of ethical and political life, reconfiguring those traditions to imagine a new future for France. She also examines how the political discourses, institutions, and laws that constitute French secularism regulate Islam, transforming the Islamic tradition and what it means to be Muslim. Fernando traces how long-standing tensions within secularism and republican citizenship are displaced onto France's Muslims, who, as a result, are rendered illegitimate as political citizens and moral subjects. She argues, ultimately, that the Muslim question is as much about secularism as it is about Islam.

The Republic Unsettled

The Republic Unsettled

Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism

  • Author: Mayanthi L. Fernando
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • ISBN: 9780822357483
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 325
  • View: 889
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In 1989 three Muslim schoolgirls from a Paris suburb refused to remove their Islamic headscarves in class. The headscarf crisis signaled an Islamic revival among the children of North African immigrants; it also ignited an ongoing debate about the place of Muslims within the secular nation-state. Based on ten years of ethnographic research, The Republic Unsettled alternates between an analysis of Muslim French religiosity and the contradictions of French secularism that this emergent religiosity precipitated. Mayanthi L. Fernando explores how Muslim French draw on both Islamic and secular-republican traditions to create novel modes of ethical and political life, reconfiguring those traditions to imagine a new future for France. She also examines how the political discourses, institutions, and laws that constitute French secularism regulate Islam, transforming the Islamic tradition and what it means to be Muslim. Fernando traces how long-standing tensions within secularism and republican citizenship are displaced onto France's Muslims, who, as a result, are rendered illegitimate as political citizens and moral subjects. She argues, ultimately, that the Muslim question is as much about secularism as it is about Islam.

The Republic Unsettled

The Republic Unsettled

Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism

  • Author: Mayanthi L. Fernando
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • ISBN: 9780822357346
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 328
  • View: 3967
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In 1989 three Muslim schoolgirls from a Paris suburb refused to remove their Islamic headscarves in class. The headscarf crisis signaled an Islamic revival among the children of North African immigrants; it also ignited an ongoing debate about the place of Muslims within the secular nation-state. Based on ten years of ethnographic research, The Republic Unsettled alternates between an analysis of Muslim French religiosity and the contradictions of French secularism that this emergent religiosity precipitated. Mayanthi L. Fernando explores how Muslim French draw on both Islamic and secular-republican traditions to create novel modes of ethical and political life, reconfiguring those traditions to imagine a new future for France. She also examines how the political discourses, institutions, and laws that constitute French secularism regulate Islam, transforming the Islamic tradition and what it means to be Muslim. Fernando traces how long-standing tensions within secularism and republican citizenship are displaced onto France's Muslims, who, as a result, are rendered illegitimate as political citizens and moral subjects. She argues, ultimately, that the Muslim question is as much about secularism as it is about Islam.

Only Muslim

Only Muslim

Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France

  • Author: Naomi Davidson
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • ISBN: 0801465257
  • Category: History
  • Page: 299
  • View: 9627
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The French state has long had a troubled relationship with its diverse Muslim populations. In Only Muslim, Naomi Davidson traces this turbulence to the 1920s and 1930s, when North Africans first immigrated to French cities in significant numbers. Drawing on police reports, architectural blueprints, posters, propaganda films, and documentation from metropolitan and colonial officials as well as anticolonial nationalists, she reveals the ways in which French politicians and social scientists created a distinctly French vision of Islam that would inform public policy and political attitudes toward Muslims for the rest of the century-Islam français. French Muslims were cast into a permanent "otherness" that functioned in the same way as racial difference. This notion that one was only and forever Muslim was attributed to all immigrants from North Africa, though in time "Muslim" came to function as a synonym for Algerian, despite the diversity of the North and West African population. Davidson grounds her narrative in the history of the Mosquée de Paris, which was inaugurated in 1926 and epitomized the concept of Islam français. Built in official gratitude to the tens of thousands of Muslim subjects of France who fought and were killed in World War I, the site also provided the state with a means to regulate Muslim life throughout the metropole beginning during the interwar period. Later chapters turn to the consequences of the state's essentialized view of Muslims in the Vichy years and during the Algerian War. Davidson concludes with current debates over plans to build a Muslim cultural institute in the middle of a Parisian immigrant neighborhood, showing how Islam remains today a marker of an unassimilable difference.

Restless Souls

Restless Souls

The Making of American Spirituality

  • Author: Leigh Eric Schmidt
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 0520954114
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 360
  • View: 833
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Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism—all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country’s Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, Restless Souls explores America’s abiding romance with spirituality as religion’s better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.

Multi-Ethnic France

Multi-Ethnic France

Immigration, Politics, Culture and Society

  • Author: Alec G. Hargreaves
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1134152019
  • Category: History
  • Page: 288
  • View: 8112
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This second edition of Multi-Ethnic France spans politics and economics, social structures and cultural practices and has been updated to cover events which have occurred on the national and international stage since the first edition was published. These include: recent developments in the Banlieues, including the riots of 2005 the growing visibility of sub-Saharan Africans in France's evolving ethnic mix the reverberations in France of international developments such as 9/11, the second Intifada and the Iraq Wars the renewed controversy over the wearing of the Islamic headscarf the development of anti-discrimination policy and the debate over 'positive discrimination'. Immigration is one of the most significant and persistent issues in contemporary France. It has become central to political debate with the rise, on one side, of Jean-Marie Le Pen's extreme right-wing party and, on the other, of Islamist terrorism. In Multi-Ethnic France, Alec G. Hargreaves unmasks the prejudices and misconceptions faced by minorities of Muslim heritage and lays bare the social and political neglect behind the riots of 2005. This second edition is fully updated, and includes a glossary and chronology, as well as a revised bibliography.

Questioning Secularism

Questioning Secularism

Islam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt

  • Author: Hussein Ali Agrama
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 0226010686
  • Category: Law
  • Page: 281
  • View: 545
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The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart. Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.

Judging Mohammed

Judging Mohammed

Juvenile Delinquency, Immigration, and Exclusion at the Paris Palace of Justice

  • Author: Susan J. Terrio
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • ISBN: 0804771030
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 368
  • View: 1357
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In October 2005, three weeks of rioting erupted in France following the accidental deaths of two French boys of North African ancestry. Killed while fleeing the police, these boys were deemed dangerous based largely on their immigrant origins. In France, disadvantaged children of immigrant and foreign ancestry represent the vast majority of formal suspects and have increasingly been portrayed as a threat to public safety and as the embodiment of the assault on French values. Despite official rhetoric of protection, Judging Mohammed reveals how the treatment of these children in the juvenile courts system undermines legal guarantees of equality and due process and reinforces existing hierarchies. Based on five years of extensive research in the largest and most influential juvenile court in France, this work follows young people inside the system, from arrest to court trials. Revealing an alarming turn toward accountability, restitution, and retribution, this groundbreaking study uncovers the disquieting reasons behind France's shifting approaches to the identification, treatment, and representation of its delinquent youth.

Culture and the Senses

Culture and the Senses

Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community

  • Author: Prof. Kathryn Geurts
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 9780520936546
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 330
  • View: 9892
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Adding her stimulating and finely framed ethnography to recent work in the anthropology of the senses, Kathryn Geurts investigates the cultural meaning system and resulting sensorium of Anlo-Ewe-speaking people in southeastern Ghana. Geurts discovered that the five-senses model has little relevance in Anlo culture, where balance is a sense, and balancing (in a physical and psychological sense as well as in literal and metaphorical ways) is an essential component of what it means to be human. Much of perception falls into an Anlo category of seselelame (literally feel-feel-at-flesh-inside), in which what might be considered sensory input, including the Western sixth-sense notion of "intuition," comes from bodily feeling and the interior milieu. The kind of mind-body dichotomy that pervades Western European-Anglo American cultural traditions and philosophical thought is absent. Geurts relates how Anlo society privileges and elaborates what we would call kinesthesia, which most Americans would not even identify as a sense. After this nuanced exploration of an Anlo-Ewe theory of inner states and their way of delineating external experience, readers will never again take for granted the "naturalness" of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.

Gesture and Power

Gesture and Power

Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo

  • Author: Yolanda Covington-Ward
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • ISBN: 0822374846
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 304
  • View: 8271
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In Gesture and Power Yolanda Covington-Ward examines the everyday embodied practices and performances of the BisiKongo people of the Lower Congo to show how their gestures, dances, and spirituality are critical in mobilizing social and political action. Conceiving of the body as the center of analysis, a catalyst for social action, and as a conduit for the social construction of reality, Covington-Ward focuses on specific flash points in the last ninety years of Congo's troubled history, when embodied performance was used to stake political claims, foster dissent, and enforce power. In the 1920s Simon Kimbangu started a Christian prophetic movement based on spirit-induced trembling, which swept through the Lower Congo, subverting Belgian colonial authority. Following independence, dictator Mobutu Sese Seko required citizens to dance and sing nationalist songs daily as a means of maintaining political control. More recently, embodied performance has again stoked reform, as nationalist groups such as Bundu dia Kongo advocate for a return to precolonial religious practices and non-Western gestures such as traditional greetings. In exploring these embodied expressions of Congolese agency, Covington-Ward provides a framework for understanding how embodied practices transmit social values, identities, and cultural history throughout Africa and the diaspora.

Spiritual Citizenship

Spiritual Citizenship

Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad

  • Author: N. Fadeke Castor
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • ISBN: 0822372584
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 3780
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In Spiritual Citizenship N. Fadeke Castor employs the titular concept to illuminate how Ifá/Orisha practices informed by Yoruba cosmology shape local, national, and transnational belonging in African diasporic communities in Trinidad and beyond. Drawing on almost two decades of fieldwork in Trinidad, Castor outlines how the political activism and social upheaval of the 1970s set the stage for African diasporic religions to enter mainstream Trinidadian society. She establishes how the postcolonial performance of Ifá/Orisha practices in Trinidad fosters a sense of belonging that invigorates its practitioners to work toward freedom, equality, and social justice. Demonstrating how spirituality is inextricable from the political project of black liberation, Castor illustrates the ways in which Ifá/Orisha beliefs and practices offer Trinidadians the means to strengthen belonging throughout the diaspora, access past generations, heal historical wounds, and envision a decolonial future.

The Fear of Islam

The Fear of Islam

An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West

  • Author: Todd H. Green
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • ISBN: 1451465491
  • Category: Islam
  • Page: 362
  • View: 3035
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This volume investigates the context of Western views of Islam and offers an introduction to the historical roots and contemporary forms of anxiety regarding Islam within the Western world. Tracing the medieval legacy of religious polemics and violence, Green orients the reader to the complex history and issues in Western relations to Islam, from early and late modern colonial enterprises and theories of "Orientalism," to the production of religious discourses of otherness and the clash of civilizations that proliferated in the era of 9/11 and the war on terror.

Purity and Exile

Purity and Exile

Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania

  • Author: Liisa H. Malkki
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 022619096X
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 374
  • View: 9314
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In this study of Hutu refugees from Burundi, driven into exile in Tanzania after their 1972 insurrection against the dominant Tutsi was brutally quashed, Liisa Malkki shows how experiences of dispossession and violence are remembered and turned into narratives, and how this process helps to construct identities such as "Hutu" and "Tutsi." Through extensive fieldwork in two refugee communities, Malkki finds that the refugees' current circumstances significantly influence these constructions. Those living in organized camps created an elaborate "mythico-history" of the Hutu people, which gave significance to exile, and envisioned a collective return to the homeland of Burundi. Other refugees, who had assimilated in a more urban setting, crafted identities in response to the practical circumstances of their day to day lives. Malkki reveals how such things as national identity, historical consciousness, and the social imagination of "enemies" get constructed in the process of everyday life. The book closes with an epilogue looking at the recent violence between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi, and showing how the movement of large refugee populations across national borders has shaped patterns of violence in the region.

The Spiritual-Industrial Complex

The Spiritual-Industrial Complex

America's Religious Battle against Communism in the Early Cold War

  • Author: Jonathan P. Herzog
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199830746
  • Category: History
  • Page: 288
  • View: 7090
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In his farewell address, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the nation of the perils of the military-industrial complex. But as Jonathan Herzog shows in this insightful history, Eisenhower had spent his presidency contributing to another, lesser known, Cold War collaboration: the spiritual-industrial complex. This fascinating volume shows that American leaders in the early Cold War years considered the conflict to be profoundly religious; they saw Communism not only as godless but also as a sinister form of religion. Fighting faith with faith, they deliberately used religious beliefs and institutions as part of the plan to defeat the Soviet enemy. Herzog offers an illuminating account of the resultant spiritual-industrial complex, chronicling the rhetoric, the programs, and the policies that became its hallmarks. He shows that well-known actions like the addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance were a small part of a much larger and relatively unexplored program that promoted religion nationwide. Herzog shows how these efforts played out in areas of American life both predictable and unexpected--from pulpits and presidential appeals to national faith drives, military training barracks, public school classrooms, and Hollywood epics. Millions of Americans were bombarded with the message that the religious could not be Communists, just a short step from the all-too-common conclusion that the irreligious could not be true Americans. Though the spiritual-industrial complex declined in the 1960s, its statutes, monuments, and sentiments live on as bulwarks against secularism and as reminders that the nation rests upon the groundwork of religious faith. They continue to serve as valuable allies for those defending the place of religion in American life.

Conscientious Objectors in Israel

Conscientious Objectors in Israel

Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty

  • Author: Erica Weiss
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
  • ISBN: 0812209427
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 216
  • View: 9767
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In Conscientious Objectors in Israel, Erica Weiss examines the lives of Israelis who have refused to perform military service for reasons of conscience. Based on long-term fieldwork, this ethnography chronicles the personal experiences of two generations of Jewish conscientious objectors as they grapple with the pressure of justifying their actions to the Israeli state and society—often suffering severe social and legal consequences, including imprisonment. While most scholarly work has considered the causes of animosity and violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Conscientious Objectors in Israel examines how and under what circumstances one is able to refuse to commit acts of violence in the midst of that conflict. By exploring the social life of conscientious dissent, Weiss exposes the tension within liberal citizenship between the protection of individual rights and obligations of self-sacrifice. While conscience is a strong cultural claim, military refusal directly challenges Israeli state sovereignty. Weiss explores conscience as a political entity that sits precariously outside the jurisdictional bounds of state power. Through the lens of Israeli conscientious objection, Weiss looks at the nature of contemporary citizenship, examining how the expectations of sacrifice shape the politics of both consent and dissent. In doing so, she exposes the sacrificial logic of the modern nation-state and demonstrates how personal crises of conscience can play out on the geopolitical stage.

Constructing Muslims in France

Constructing Muslims in France

Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship

  • Author: Jennifer Fredette
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • ISBN: 9781439910283
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 232
  • View: 5143
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The standing of French Muslims is undercut by a predominant and persistent elite public discourse that frames Muslims as failed and incomplete French citizens. This situation fosters the very separations, exclusions, and hierarchies it claims to deplore as Muslims face discrimination in education, housing, and employment. In Constructing Muslims in France, Jennifer Fredette provides a deft empirical analysis to show the political diversity and complicated identity politics of this relatively new population. She examines the public identity of French Muslims and evaluates images in popular media to show how stereotyped notions of racial and religious differences pervade French public discourse. While rights may be a sine qua non for fighting legal and political inequality, Fredette shows that additional tools such as media access are needed to combat social inequality, particularly when it comes in the form of unfavorable discursive frames and public disrespect. Presenting the conflicting views of French national identity, Fredette shows how Muslims strive to gain recognition of their diverse views and backgrounds and find full equality as French citizens.

If the Oceans Were Ink

If the Oceans Were Ink

An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran

  • Author: Carla Power
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
  • ISBN: 0805098240
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 352
  • View: 8377
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PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • Hailed by The Washington Post as “mandatory reading,” and praised by Fareed Zakaria as “intelligent, compassionate, and revealing,” a powerful journey to help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today. If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power's eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship-between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh-had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text. A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran's most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each other's worldviews, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long. Praise for If the Oceans Were Ink “A vibrant tale of a friendship.... If the Oceans Were Ink is a welcome and nuanced look at Islam [and] goes a long way toward combating the dehumanizing stereotypes of Muslims that are all too common.... If the Oceans Were Ink should be mandatory reading for the 52 percent of Americans who admit to not knowing enough about Muslims.”—The Washington Post “For all those who wonder what Islam says about war and peace, men and women, Jews and gentiles, this is the book to read. It is a conversation among well-meaning friends—intelligent, compassionate, and revealing—the kind that needs to be taking place around the world.”—Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World “Carla Power’s intimate portrait of the Quran, told with nuance and great elegance, captures the extraordinary, living debate over the Muslim holy book’s very essence. A spirited, compelling read.”—Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad “Unique, masterful, and deeply engaging. Carla Power takes the reader on an extraordinary journey in interfaith understanding as she debates and discovers the Quran’s message, meaning, and values on peace and violence, gender and veiling, religious pluralism and tolerance.”—John L. Esposito, University Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies, Georgetown University, and author of The Future of Islam “A thoughtful, provocative, intelligent book.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds Of Paradise and The Language of Baklava

Sapiens

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

  • Author: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 0062316109
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 464
  • View: 2930
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New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians

Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians

  • Author: Pierre Clastres
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category: History
  • Page: 349
  • View: 1233
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Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians is an account of Clastres's first fieldwork in theearly 1960s—an encounter with a small, unique, and now vanished Paraguayantribe.

Formations of the Secular

Formations of the Secular

Christianity, Islam, Modernity

  • Author: Talal Asad
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • ISBN: 0804783098
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 280
  • View: 8169
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Opening with the provocative query “what might an anthropology of the secular look like?” this book explores the concepts, practices, and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the major historical shifts that have shaped secular sensibilities and attitudes in the modern West and the Middle East. Talal Asad proceeds to dismantle commonly held assumptions about the secular and the terrain it allegedly covers. He argues that while anthropologists have oriented themselves to the study of the “strangeness of the non-European world” and to what are seen as non-rational dimensions of social life (things like myth, taboo, and religion),the modern and the secular have not been adequately examined. The conclusion is that the secular cannot be viewed as a successor to religion, or be seen as on the side of the rational. It is a category with a multi-layered history, related to major premises of modernity, democracy, and the concept of human rights. This book will appeal to anthropologists, historians, religious studies scholars, as well as scholars working on modernity.