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Why Critique? 1

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Abstract This paper examines the stakes in disentangling critique from its Western operation in order to locate a position of political freedom for the critical study of the Islamic tradition. It considers how the question of the critical study of Islam is a question about the political significance of the concept of critique, and the challenge that the study of the Islamic tradition poses to the discriminating operation of Western criticism. It argues that critique espouses the very philosophical ethos of the Enlightenment itself that challenges us to adopt the “a limit-attitude” of analyzing and reflecting on the limits of the Enlightenment and the political and governmental apparatus that accompanied it.


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Affiliations: 1: Department of Religious Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado 80309-0292 USA


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