Islam in a Post-Secular Society

Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

Series:

Islam in the Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular.

By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the ‘clash of civilization’ thesis, the author attempts to find a ‘common language’ between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.
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Biographical Note

Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D. (2016), Michigan State University, is an Assistant Professor of Humanities at Olivet College in Michigan. He has published monographs, edited volumes and many articles on both Islam and the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory. His latest book, Malcolm X: From Political Eschatology to Religious Revolutionary, was co-edited with Seyed Javad Miri (Brill, 2016).

Table of contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

1. Professing Islam in a Post-Secular Society
Introduction
On the Contemporary Possibility of Witnessing and Professing
The Post-Secular Society
What does it mean to Profess Islam?
Witnessing In Islam: on the Tradition of Radical Praxis
New Religion as Return of the Old
Witnessing in the Time of War
‘Perfected Religion’: A Problematic Conception
Fear of Philosophical Blaspheme

2. Adversity in Post-Secular Europe
The Dialectics of Martyrdom: Death as Witnessing and Professing
Witnessing Against Islam: The Case of Theo van Gogh
Je ne suis pas Charlie et je ne suis pas avec les terrorists

3. Finding a Common Language
13th Century Witnessing: Saint Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil
Different Francis, Same Mission: Witnessing with and for Muslims
Translation Proviso: Can We Witness and Confess in the Same Language?
Cognitive-Instrumental Reason, Moral-Practical Reason and Aesthetic-Expressive Reason in Religion
Translation Dangers
Secular Entrenchment

4. Witnessing and Confessing in Prophetic and Positive Religions
Affirmation and Negativity: Marx
Affirmation and Negativity: Lenin
Affirmation and Negativity: Horkheimer and Adorno
Confronting the Post-Secular Condition
Prophetic and Priestly Religion


5. After Auschwitz: Islam in Europe
Violence and the Post-Secular
Violence and the State
Freud’s Unbehagen mit Marx
Witnessing and Professing in a Nietzschian Age of Nihilism
Witnessing and Professing After Auschwitz: Theodor Adorno’s Poetics
History and Metaphysics after Auschwitz
Ethics after Auschwitz
Witnessing the Messianic: The Case of the Martyr Walter Benjamin
A Place for Theology
Messiah, Messianic and the Historian
Benjamin’s Critique of Progress: Witnessing History as Barbarity

6. Post-Secularity and its Discontents: The Barbaric Revolt against Barbarism
Absolutivity
Authoritarian Absolutes, Heteronomy, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
Humanistic Absolutes
ISIS: Same Problem, Different Manifestations
American and Euro-Jihādis
Hegel, War and Individualism
ISIS and Western Alienation
Internationalism
Seeking Heaven at the Barrel of a Gun
Material Poverty or Poverty of Being?
Genealogy of Terror
Symbolic Message
Reign of Terror: Bourgeois and Muslim
The Perverse Dialectic of Apology
Hypocritical Apologetics and the Recovery of the Prophetic

7. The Globalized Post-Secular Society and the Future of Islam
From the West to the Rest
Theocracy as a Response to the Globalized Post-Secular Society
Post-Secular Solidarity: A Proposal for an Intra-religious Constitutionalism
Ecumenisms and Inter-Religious Constitution Building: Modern Slavery
Conclusion

References
Index

Readership

This book is geared to all interested in Islam in the West, secularization theory, and the Frankfurt School’s critical theory of religion. It would be of interest to libraries, advanced undergraduate students in religion and philosophy, graduate students in religion and philosophy, as well as scholars in the same fields.