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Rethinking “Religion and Politics”: Reflections on the Reception and Import of Talal Asad’s "Genealogies of Religion"


Amesbury, Richard (2014). Rethinking “Religion and Politics”: Reflections on the Reception and Import of Talal Asad’s "Genealogies of Religion". Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 43(1):2-7.

Abstract

Twenty years after the publication of Genealogies of Religion, scholarship in the field of “religion and politics” mostly ignores Talal Asad’s central arguments about the socially constructed nature of the secular-religious distinction. However, a critical counter-tradition is gaining traction. After briefly reviewing the work of three scholars who have drawn on Asad to intervene in debates in political theory, religion and violence, and international relations, I offer some reflections on the triangular relation among states, capital, and the cultural formation of religion. “Religion” as a transcultural category, I argue, can be understood as partly the spectral projection of a universalizing liberal-capitalist order in search of an “other” by means of which to legitimate itself.

Abstract

Twenty years after the publication of Genealogies of Religion, scholarship in the field of “religion and politics” mostly ignores Talal Asad’s central arguments about the socially constructed nature of the secular-religious distinction. However, a critical counter-tradition is gaining traction. After briefly reviewing the work of three scholars who have drawn on Asad to intervene in debates in political theory, religion and violence, and international relations, I offer some reflections on the triangular relation among states, capital, and the cultural formation of religion. “Religion” as a transcultural category, I argue, can be understood as partly the spectral projection of a universalizing liberal-capitalist order in search of an “other” by means of which to legitimate itself.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Theology
Dewey Decimal Classification:230 Christianity & Christian theology
170 Ethics
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:30 Jan 2015 11:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:51
Publisher:Equinox Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:2041-1863
Related URLs:http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/index.php/BSOR/index
http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/index.php/BSOR/article/view/17751

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