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Rowan Williams and Sharia: Defending the Secular

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The article that follows is in part based on a pair of long blog posts that I wrote on the 11 and 15 February 2008 (‘Rowan Williams and Sharia: A Guide for the Perplexed’ and ‘What is Enlightenment: More on Williams and Sharia’). They were simply intended as an explanatory guided tour through the lecture, though with an implicit interest in undermining some of the wilder misrepresentations that I had then read. These posts did not focus on questions of strategy—on the political wisdom of delivering the lecture, or the handling of the media by Williams and his staff (I dealt with those issues briefly in an intervening post, not reproduced here)—but simply with the content of the lecture itself. I have not attempted in this article to step beyond that original remit: this article remains an attempt above all to explain, without too much by way of my own explicit comment, what Williams said.

Affiliations: 1: University of Exeter, UK


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