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Secularism and Cosmopolitanism: Critical Hypotheses on Religion and Politics
— —
Etienne Balibar G. M. Goshgarian
Secularism and Cosmopolitanism: Critical Hypotheses on Religion and Politics by Etienne Balibar at Abbey's Bookshop,

Secularism and Cosmopolitanism: Critical Hypotheses on Religion and Politics

Etienne Balibar G. M. Goshgarian


Columbia University Press

Social & political philosophy;
Religion & politics;
Politics & government;
Political science & theory


288 pages

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What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and secularism-the worldwide and the worldly? While cosmopolitan politics may seem inherently secular, existing forms of secularism risk undermining the universality of cosmopolitanism because they privilege the European tradition over all others and transform particular historical norms into enunciations of truth, valid for all cultures and all epochs. In this book, the noted philosopher Etienne Balibar explores the tensions lurking at this troubled nexus in order to advance a truly democratic and emancipatory cosmopolitanism, which requires a secularization of secularism itself.

Balibar argues for the idea of the universal against its particular dominant institutions. He questions the assumptions that underlie popular ideas of secularism and religion and outlines the importance of a new critique for the contemporary world. Balibar holds that conflicts between religious and secular discourses need to be reframed from a point of view that takes into account the cultural hybridization, migration and mobility, and transformation of borders that have reshaped the postcolonial age. Among the topics discussed are the uses and misuses of the category of religion and the religious, the paradoxical genealogy of monotheism, French laicite's identitarian turn, and the implications of the responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks for an extended definition of free speech.

Going beyond circumscribed notions of religion and the public sphere, Secularism and Cosmopolitanism is a profound rethinking of identity and difference that seeks to make room for a renewed political imagination.

By:   Etienne Balibar
Translated by:   G. M. Goshgarian
Imprint:   Columbia University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 140mm, 
ISBN:   9780231168601
ISBN 10:   0231168608
Series:   European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   June 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

ForewordIntroduction. Critique in the 21st Century: Political Economy Still, Religion AgainSaeculum1. Circumstances and Objectives2. Secularism and Cosmopolitanism: An Aporia?3. Double Binds: Politics of the Veil4. Cosmo-Politics and Conflicts between Universalities5. Finishing with Religion?6. Culture, Religion, or Ideology7. Religious Revolutions and Anthropological Differences8. Secularism Secularized: The Vanishing Mediator9. EnvoiEssays10. Note on the Origins and Uses of Monotheism 11. God Will Not Remain Silent . Zionism, Messianism, and Nationalism12. What Future for Laicite? Statements13. Three words for the dead and the living (after Charlie Hebdo)14. On Freedom of Expression and the Question of Blasphemy 15. Identitarian Laicite

�tienne Balibar is emeritus professor of philosophy at Paris X Nanterre and emeritus professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is also professor of modern European philosophy at Kingston University, London, and professor of French and comparative literature at Columbia University. His books include Violence and Civility: On the Limits of Political Philosophy (Columbia, 2015).

Over the years tienne Balibar has perfected a style of polemic both so ruthless and so sweet that his antagonists--whether postsecularism or official secularism, whether the champions of biopolitics or of euroskepticism--are still smiling even as their heads are separated from their bodies, and will often keep smiling as they lie lifeless on the ground. A revolutionary for our times, a revolutionary without slogans, Balibar brings all of philosophy's resources to bear on the conceptual challenges buried in today's news, and tomorrow's. The concepts he has inspected and re-thought with his signature rigor are fresh and ready for action.--Bruce Robbins, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University Baliber's writing on religion and politics contains remarkable insights for scholars working on secular ethics and contemporary religious quarrels.--4/9/18 Publishers Weekly Secularism and Cosmopolitanism is the textual equivalent of a rich ongoing seminar with one of our most erudite, astute living philosophers. In writings spanning more than a decade, Balibar opens rather than stipulates the meanings of religion, secularism, and la cit as well as those of universalism and multiculturalism. From the veil controversy to the Charlie Hebdo bombing, from reading Jean-Jacques Rousseau to reading Joan Scott, Balibar teaches us not what to think about contemporary religious-secular conflicts in Europe, but how.--Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley One of our best European activist philosophers here considers the question of secularism, religion, and cosmopolitanism in a broad range: Islam, the historical contradictions of secularism in the Israeli state, the implications of French la cit , the history of the term 'monotheism' from European antiquity, and serious considerations of gender at every step. 'Generalized heresy as philosophical fiction' is, for Balibar, our persistent, repeated, heterogeneous, and collective political task of invention. Those of us trying to work away from the Abrahamic and toward the rural subaltern electorate find in Balibar a powerful ally.--Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author of Death of a Discipline and Other Asias tienne Balibar has been one of the world's leading political philosophers for the last several decades and has had an enormous impact around questions concerning the relation among notions of individuality, selfhood, and state sovereignty in the modern era. Secularism and Cosmopolitanism is a short but trenchant book by an important thinker on a vital topic.--William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University

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