This book is a theoretically and historically informed exploration of 'secularism' in Muslim contexts. It does this through a critical assessment of an influential tradition of thinking about Islam and secularism, derived from the work of anthropologist Talal Asad and his followers. The study employs the tools of comparative historical sociology and sociology of knowledge to engage with the assumptions of Asadian theory. Ultimately, Enayat argues against nativist assertions drawn from the experience of Western modernity and provides a qualified defense of secularism.
"Enayat's book is an important guide for graduate students evaluating critical issues in the study of Islam and religion in general. Both new and advanced readers will definitely benefit from this contribution." (Zubair Ahmad, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 45 (2), June, 2019)
"'Islam and Secularism in Post-Colonial Thought' is a critical scholarly intervention that takes on this powerful school of thought which he designates as 'Asadian' after its most prominent exponent, Talal Asad. . Enayat successfully brings together a comprehensive and systematic critique of Asadian scholarship . . making it a must read for anyone working on religion and secularism and beyond." (Ceren Lord, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, June 03, 2019)
Hadi Enayat is Visiting Lecturer at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, Aga Khan University, London, UK. His book Law, State and Society in Modern Iran won the 2013 Biennial Mossadegh Prize.
1: Introduction.- 2: Secularism, Christianity and Imperialism.- 3: Violence, Governmentality and the 'Othering' of the Modern Nation-State.- 4: Secular and Religious Criticism and Islam as a 'Discursive Tradition'.- 5: Secularization Theory and its Discontents.- Chapter 6: The Body, the Self and Agency.- Chapter 7: Genealogies of Religious Freedom and Minority Rights.- 8: Conclusion.