Books

Religion as Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace by Irfan Ahmad

Irfan Ahmad makes the far-reaching argument that potent systems and modes for self-critique as well as critique of others are inherent in Islam--indeed, critique is integral to its fundamental tenets large part on South Asian traditions.

Apr 5, 2018
Irfan Ahmad makes the far-reaching argument that potent systems and modes for self-critique as well as critique of others are inherent in Islam--indeed, critique is integral to its fundamental tenets large part on South Asian traditions. Ahmad interrogates Greek and Enlightenment notions of reason and critique, and he notes how they are invoked in relation to "others," including Muslims. Drafting an alternative genealogy of critique in Islam, Ahmad reads religious teachings and texts, drawing on sources in Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, and English, and demonstrates how they serve as expressions of critique. Throughout, he depicts Islam as an agent, not an object, of critique.
 
On a broader level, Ahmad expands the idea of critique itself. Drawing on his fieldwork among marketplace hawkers in Delhi and Aligarh, he construes critique anthropologically as a sociocultural activity in the everyday lives of ordinary Muslims, beyond the world of intellectuals. Religion as Critique allows space for new theoretical considerations of modernity and change, taking on such salient issues as nationhood, women's equality, the state, culture, democracy, and secularism.
 
 
1 INTRODUCTION
 
2 CRITIQUE: Western and/or Islamic
 
3 THE MODES: Another Genealogy of Critique
 
PART II: Illustration
 
4 THE MESSAGE: A Critical Enterprise
 
5 THE STATE: (In) dispensable, Desirable, Revisable?
 
6 THE DIFFERENCE: Women and (In) equality
 
7 THE MUNDANE: Critique as Social-Cultural Practice
 
 
About the Author
 
Irfan Ahmad, an anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Studies in Gottingen, Germany, is the author of Islamism and Democracy in India: The Transformation of Jamaat-e-Islami (2009).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

India is paying a price for losing its grasslands

Wiry shrubs and clumps of brown-green fill the semi-arid landscape of Kutch in western India. Many of these patches have, over the years, made way for "more productive" agricultural land. This greening of "wasteland" is, however, degrading a precious and largely ignored ecosystem -- the grasslands. And, as a result,

Read more...

IMF expects India's role in Indo-Pacific region to expand

The International Monetary Fund expects India's role in the Indo-Pacific region's development to continue to expand because of its robust growth, but it has to carry out more trade refor...

Read more...
Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook