Is Critique Secular?: Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech, by Talal Asad,Wendy Brown, Judith Butler & Saba Mahmood

Talal Asad,Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Saba Mahmood, Is Critique Secular?: Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech, New York, Fordham University Press, 2013 (first edition 2009).

This volume interrogates settled ways of thinking about the seemingly interminable conflict between religious and secular values in our world today. What are the assumptions and resources internal to secular conceptions of critique that help or hinder our understanding of one of the most pressing conflicts of our times?
Taking as their point of departure the question of whether critique belongs exclusively to forms of liberal democracy that define themselves in opposition to religion, these authors consider the case of the “Danish cartoon controversy” of 2005. They offer accounts of reading, understanding, and critique for offering a way to rethink conventional oppositions between free speech and religious belief, judgment and violence, reason and prejudice, rationality and embodied life. The book, first published in 2009, has been updated for the present edition with a new Preface by the authors.

 


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