secular critique

A consequence of hinging our conversation on belief is that it tends to project “belief” in the abstract onto some believer, elsewhere. I often experience the dialog in the secular academy about religion as involving a kind of division of believing labor, if you will, in which avowed non-believers puzzle over the intricacies of religious belief, its loss, its renewal, its existentially contradictory character, without much investigation into the lived experiences and practices of the “religious.” In print, of course, there are many major exceptions to this, from Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety to Dawne Moon’s God, Sex, and Politics, which coins the useful term “everyday theology” to account for something like a religious habitus. But our conversations are different than the books we read, and I think we have some catching up to do.

from the Immanent Frame.


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