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Explaining The Global Religious Revival: A Response (2)

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Chapter Summary

Professor Asad's presentation is a subtle and creative review of the images of Islam in the international arena and of the conjectures put forward to explain the phenomenon of religious revival in general, and in Egypt in particular. His interpretations of these phenomena introduce a significant number of categories that have historically been treated by anthropology (such as culture, ethnocentrism and identity among others). When systematically applied to specific cases, these categories can help locate in a critical and geopolitically informed position the vices that academic, political and common sense Western perspectives have constructed on Islam and on the role of religion in the Arab world. The other academic trend that has contributed to this standpoint is post-colonial critique. One of the implications of Professor Asad's paper is that it questions the apparently universal character of the Christian-liberal view of law, democracy, freedom, morality, ethics and religion.

Keywords: Arab world; Christian-liberal view; democracy; Egypt; Islam; Professor Asad; religious revival



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