Formations of the Secular / Talal Asad

In this eye-opening book of Talal Asad, a genealogy of secularism and secular concepts are made. Asad first asks questions such as “what might an Anthropology of Secularism look like?”. then digs deeper into concepts such as agency, pain, cruelty and torture. He digs into these concepts in a way that his words unearth the disruptive traits of the modern secular state. In later chapters, he further questions the “Human” through Human Rights. Using his discourse on this topic, he examines the state of religious minorities, such as Muslims, in Europe and further looks into the idea of secularism. In his final chapter, Asad writes about the reconfigurations of Law and Ethics in Colonial Egypt.

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