Questioning Secularism

Author: Hussein Ali Agrama
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226010708
Format: PDF, ePub
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The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart. Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.

Questioning Secularism

Author: Hussein Ali Agrama
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226010686
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart. Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.

Questioning Secularism

Author: Hussein Ali Agrama
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226010694
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart. Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.

Guerrilla Marketing

Author: Alexander L. Fattal
Publisher:
ISBN: 022659064X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"This work looks into the Colombian government's efforts to demobilize rebel FARC fighters and transform them into the entrepreneurial subjects and consumer citizens. Anthropologist Alexander Fattal shows how the market has become one of the principal grounds on which counterinsurgency warfare is waged in Colombia."--Supplied by publisher.

The Sins of the Fathers

Author: Jeffrey K. Olick
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022638649X
Format: PDF
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National identity and political legitimacy always involve a delicate balance between remembering and forgetting. All nations have elements in their past that they would prefer to pass over - the catalog of failures, injustices, and horrors committed in the name of nations. Yet denial and forgetting carry costs as well. Nowhere has this precarious balance been more potent, or important, than in the Federal Republic of Germany, where the devastation and atrocities of two world wars have weighed heavily in virtually every moment and aspect of political life. 'The Sins of the Fathers' confronts that difficulty head-on, exploring the variety of ways that Germany's leaders since 1949 have attempted to meet this challenge, with a particular focus on how those approaches have changed over time.

American Value

Author: David Pedersen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226653390
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Over the past half-century, El Salvador has transformed dramatically. Historically reliant on primary exports like coffee and cotton, the country emerged from a brutal civil war in 1992 to find much of its national income now coming from a massive emigrant workforce that earns money in the US and sends it home. In this work, Pedersen examines this new way of life as it extends across two places: Intipucā, a Salvadoran town infamous for its remittance wealth, and the Washington, DC metro area.

Government of Paper

Author: Matthew Stuart Hull
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520272145
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Drawing inspiration from actor-network theory, science studies, and semiotics, this brilliant book makes us completely rethink the workings of bureaucracy as analyzed by Max Weber and James Scott. Matthew Hull demonstrates convincingly how the materiality of signs truly matters for understanding the projects of 'the state.'" - Katherine Verdery, author of "What was Socialism, and What Comes Next?" "We are used to studies of roads and rails as central material infrastructure for the making of modern states. But what of records, the reams and reams of paper that inscribe the state-in-making? This brilliant book inquires into the materiality of information in colonial and postcolonial Pakistan. This is a work of signal importance for our understanding of the everyday graphic artifacts of authority." - Bill Maurer, author of "Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason" "This is an excellent and truly exceptional ethnography. Hull presents a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich reading that will be an invaluable resource to scholars in the field of Anthropology and South Asian studies. The author's focus on bureaucracy, "corruption," writing systems and urban studies (Islamabad) in a post-colonial context makes for a unique ethnographic engagement with contemporary Pakistan. In addition, Hull's study is a refreshing voice that breaks the mold of current representation of Pakistan through the security studies paradigm." - Kamran Asdar Ali, Director, South Asia Institute, University of Texas

Shari a Law and Modern Muslim Ethics

Author: Robert W. Hefner
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253022606
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Many Muslim societies are in the throes of tumultuous political transitions, and common to all has been heightened debate over the place of shari`a law in modern politics and ethical life. Bringing together leading scholars of Islamic politics, ethics, and law, this book examines the varied meanings and uses of Islamic law, so as to assess the prospects for democratic, plural, and gender-equitable Islamic ethics today. These essays show that, contrary to the claims of some radicals, Muslim understandings of Islamic law and ethics have always been varied and emerge, not from unchanging texts but from real and active engagement with Islamic traditions and everyday life. The ethical debates that rage in contemporary Muslim societies reveal much about the prospects for democratic societies and a pluralist Islamic ethics in the future. They also suggest that despite the tragic violence wrought in recent years by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in Iraq, we may yet see an age of ethical renewal across the Muslim world.

The Politics of Islamic Law

Author: Iza R. Hussin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022632334X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"In [this book], Iza R. Hussin compares India, Malaya, and Egypt during the British colonial period in order to trace the making and transformation of the contemporary category of "Islamic law." She demonstrates that not only is Islamic law not the shari{u06E5}a, but that its present institutional forms, substantive content, symbolic vocabulary, and relationship to state and society - in short, its politics - are built upon foundations laid during the colonial encounter. Drawing on extensive archival work in English, Arabic, and Malay - from court records to colonia and local papers to private letters and visual material - Hussin offers a view of politics in the colonial period as an iterative series of negotiations between local and colonia powers in multiple locations. ... Combining a genealogy of law with a political analysis of its institutional dynamics, t his book offers an up-close-look at the ways in which global transformations are realized at the local level."--Back cover.

Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries Between Upheaval and Continuity

Author: Rainer Grote
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019975988X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity examines the question of whether something similar to an "Islamic constitutionalism" has emerged out of the political and constitutional upheaval witnessed in many parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Southern Asia. In order to identify its defining features and to assess the challenges that Islamic constitutionalism poses to established concepts of constitutionalism, this book offers an integrated analysis of the complex frameworks in Islamic countries, drawing on the methods and insights of comparative constitutional law, Islamic law, international law and legal history. European and North American experiences are used as points of reference against which the peculiar challenges, and the specific answers given to those challenges in the countries surveyed, can be assessed. The book also examines ways in which the key concepts of constitutionalism, including fundamental rights, separation of powers, democracy and rule of law, may be adapted to an Islamic context, thus providing valuable new insights on the prospects for a genuine renaissance of constitutionalism in the Islamic world in the wake of the "Arab spring."