Aporias of the Postsecular

Author: Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair

Link: “Aporias of the Postsecular”, Religion, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2012: 131-139

About: The Politics of Postsecular Religion by Ananda Abeysekara provides a novel critical intervention within the growing debate on religion and the secular. It does this by exposing a limitation of the influential form of criticism known as ‘genealogical critique’ that has become popular in disciplines such as postcolonial studies, history of religions and anthropology. By grounding critical thought on the logic of aporia, it is possible to interrupt conventional forms of critique that merely recover or inherit the name, and thus to re-imagine political futures. The paper briefly demonstrates the applicability of aporetic logic by way of reference to the violent interdictions of modes of speech that were prevalent in pre-colonial India and which eventually enabled the Western category of ‘religion’ to take root in the minds of Indian elites in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Arvind-Pal S. Mandair
Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures 

Tara Singh & Balwant Kaur Chattha, Gurbax Singh & Kirpal Kaur Brar Professor of Sikh Studies

Philosophy/Religion/Postcolonial Theory/Sikh Studies/South Asian Studies

Email: amandair@umich.edu
Office: 202 South Thayer Street
Office 6016
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

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