As I transition my SSRC research from Senegal to the Philippines, I am constantly ruminating over the question: why compare these two places? Developing some coherent answer to this inquiry is a crucial task for helping me build theory on the idea of After Secularization.
Posts Tagged ‘Dipesh Chakrabarty’
Since our previous dispatch from the IWM Summer School in Cortona, we have settled back into our real lives in London, New York, and Washington, DC, respectively. But the discussions inspired by the summer school have continued—over email and group chats—and we wanted to share with you one recent exchange that followed from our course on “Religion and Multiple Modernities,” taught by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Sudipta Kaviraj, and Charles Taylor. The course drew on examples from European and Indian history that prompted us to think about the relation between modernity (a concept that itself was called into question) and secularism.
In the newest issue of Theory, Culture & Society, British sociologist Gregor McLennan takes a closer look at the “postsecular turn” in contemporary social theory. He argues that this “turn”—if indeed it amounts to one—finds expression in three broad trends: genealogical critique, neo-vitalism, and postcolonial antihistoricism. He mainly discusses these trends with regard to the work of three scholars, each representing one of the trends: Talal Asad, William Connolly, and Dipesh Chakrabarty (though Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler are also mentioned, as representatives of neo-vitalism and antihistoricism, respectively). While these theoretical developments go some way in critiquing the problematic linkages between secular epistemology and political arrangements, McLennan argues that they are each riddled with inconsistencies. Rather than staking out an antisecular position, these perspectives remain within secularism, contributing to the “secularization of secularism.”
In between my research trips to Senegal and the Philippines, I will be staying in Cortona, Italy, for a two-week summer school on religion and democracy with the Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM). . . . The IWM is hosting a remarkable blend of scholars and students grappling with many of the same questions that drive our SSRC DPDF After Secularization group: religion, democracy, the secular, and modernity. The chance to spend a couple of weeks with scholars like Charles Taylor, Michael Sandel and Dipesh Chakrabarty—and in the Tuscan hills no less—is a little slice of grad student heaven.