Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion, Politics and the Spiritual

1st Edition

Nils Ole Bubandt, Martijn Van Beek

Routledge
Published March 21, 2014
Reference - 272 Pages - 11 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138787957 - CAT# Y168218
Series: Anthropology of Asia

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Summary

Varieties of Secularism is an ethnographically rich, theoretically well-informed, and intellectually coherent volume which builds off the work of Talal Asad, Charles Taylor, and others who have engaged the issue of secularism(s) and in socio-political life. The volume seeks to examine theories of secularism/secularity and examine concrete ethnographic cases in order to further the theoretical discussion.

Whereas Taylor’s magisterial work draws up the conditions and problems of a belief in God in Western modernity, it leaves unexplored the challenges posed by the spiritual in modernity outside of the North Atlantic rim. This anthology seeks to begin that task. It does so by suggesting that the kind of secularity described by Taylor is only one amongst others. By attending to the shifting relationship between proper religion and ‘bad faiths’; between politically valorised and embarrassing spiritual phenomena; between the new visibilities and silences of magic, ancestors, and religion in democratic politics, this book seeks to outline the particular formations of secularism that have become possible in Asia from China to Indonesia and from Bahrain to Timor-Leste.

This book will appeal to students and scholars of Asian religion, politics and anthropology.

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