Ars Disputandi has recently published a collection of essays from the 2010 Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion titled Religion in the Public Sphere. Edited by Niek Brunsveld and Roger Trigg, the volume—available online and in print—includes contributions from Nicholas Wolterstorff (“Does Forgiveness Violate Justice?“) and Richard Amesbury (“Secular State, Religious Nation?“). In the introduction, Trigg writes.
Posts Tagged ‘laïcité’
For Modood, moderate secularism can and should go on more or less as it is, but, in order to accommodate Muslims, must undergo some institutional adjustments. How then can we speak of—that horrible term—a crisis of secularism in Europe? Surely, this is hyperbolic, a gross exaggeration! Here is where we profoundly disagree. Moderate secularism, for me, is irretrievably flawed.
With the ascent of Marine Le Pen to the head of the National Front and her growing popularity in the polls, France joins the surge of nationalist parties that is sweeping over all of Europe. We must understand the new dynamics that underlie this relapse toward a continent-wide far-right movement: in its latest change of face, the far-right misappropriates the legacy of 1968 at the same time that it targets Islam under the guise of defending national values, just as its leaders claim to embody the value of personal liberty all the while asserting their belonging to the “land” of popular imagination, thus forging a new rhetorical repertoire and introducing it into European political culture.
On April 11th, the hotly debated “burqa ban” went into effect in France.
French students protest burka ban by hiding face, showing legs.
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.
As I depart from Senegal, a more important passing has taken place within the Mouride Sufi brotherhood. Serigne Mouhamadou Lamine Bara Mbacké, Khalife general of the Mourides, died last Thursday. For a student of religion and politics, the post-mortem patterns of partisan condolence have provided yet more evidence of the powerful place of the Mourides in Senegalese society.
What fascinates me about [the] language of purity and contamination is the extent to which it is mobilized in the service of both religious and secularist narratives. This is particularly true in the case of France’s republican culture of laïcité, as the recent controversy over the Islamic headscarf—repeatedly figured as a scandalous threat to the purity of the secular public sphere—amply attests. . . . What is interesting is that both the religious and the laïque appeal to a discourse on purity and contamination and rely upon a similar narrative structure, invoking the rhetoric of purity to describe both an originary moment that has since been lost, and an eschatological ideal to be fulfilled at some point in the future.