Beyond the Secular West

Edited by Akeel Bilgrami

Columbia University Press

Beyond the Secular West

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Pub Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9780231170802

296 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $35.00£30.00

Pub Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9780231541015

296 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $34.99£30.00

Beyond the Secular West

Edited by Akeel Bilgrami

Columbia University Press

What is the character of secularism in countries that were not pervaded by Christianity, such as China, India, and the nations of the Middle East? To what extent is the secular an imposition of colonial rule? How does secularism comport with local religious cultures in Africa, and how does it work with local forms of power and governance in Latin America? Has modern secularism evolved organically, or is it even necessary, and has it always meant progress?

A vital extension of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, in which he exhaustively chronicled the emergence of secularism in Latin Christendom, this anthology applies Taylor's findings to secularism's global migration. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Rajeev Bhargava, Akeel Bilgrami, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Sudipta Kaviraj, Claudio Lomnitz, Alfred Stepan, Charles Taylor, and Peter van der Veer each explore the transformation of Western secularism beyond Europe, and the collection closes with Taylor's response to each essay. What began as a modern reaction to—as well as a stubborn extension of—Latin Christendom has become a complex export shaped by the world's religious and political systems. Brilliantly alternating between intellectual and methodological approaches, this volume fosters a greater engagement with the phenomenon across disciplines.

In counterpoint to Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, a stellar list of contributors offer a diverse range of critical perspectives exploring the ways in which the secular and secularism are translated and transformed as they travel beyond Latin Christendom: from China to India, from the Mexican Revolution to Sufi brotherhoods in Senegal. There is no comparable collection, as challenging and rewarding for expert and educated public alike.

José Casanova, Georgetown University

Beyond the Secular West is a distinguished and important set of essays that responds to A Secular Age with critical, broad-ranging, and sympathetic intelligence. The contributions hang together coherently despite the various regions and disciplinary orientations that they represent and richly illuminate the complexity of the issue of secularity as a global phenomenon with a long, diverse history.

Uday Singh Mehta, CUNY Graduate Center

This volume responds to Charles Taylor's A Secular Age. Framed with an introduction and responses by Charles Taylor, the essays explore how Taylor's work applies to cultures beyond Western Latin Christendom.... Highly recommended.

Choice
Preface, by Akeel Bilgrami
1. Can Secularism Travel?, by Charles Taylor
2. The Sufi and the State, by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
3. The Individual and Collective Self-Liberation Model of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
4. Creating Democratically Friendly Twin Tolerations Outside of Latin Christendom: Tunisia, by Alfred Stepan
5. Secularism and the Mexican Revolution, by Claudio Lomnitz
6. Is Confucianism Secular?, by Peter van der Veer
7. Disenchantment Deferred, by Sudipta Kaviraj
8. An Ancient Indian Secular Age?, by Rajeev Bhargava
9. Gandhi's Radicalism: An Interpretation, by Akeel Bilgrami
10. A Secular Age Outside Latin Christendom: Charles Taylor Responds, by
Charles Taylor
List of Contributors
Index

About the Author

Akeel Bilgrami is the Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy and a professor on the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. His books include Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom? (Columbia University Press, 2014); Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (2014); Self-Knowledge and Resentment (2012); and Belief and Meaning (1995).