[P6538] Postcolonial Critique and Its Limits: Religion, State, and Secularism Revisited

Created by Mona Oraby
Friday, 12/03/21 2:00 pm

SUMMARY:

The study of religion and state in modernity has for the last three decades relied on the anthropological and postcolonial critique of secularism. This critique, though originally derived from the study of modern Egypt, is now widely adopted in the study of other regional contexts. The critique intuits two foundational claims: shari‘a was relegated to a private sphere during British colonial rule and the state form, imposed by foreign colonial authorities, is alien to the Islamic legal tradition. This panel draws together established and emerging scholars to revisit and reconsider the historical and contemporary implications of these claims. Three overlapping topics frame the panelists’ interventions: the status of Egypt within the British Empire, the place of religion in colonial and postcolonial law and policy, and how secularization and the doctrine of political secularism relate to modernization. Panelists employ a range of historical methods and legal analysis that is attentive to the phenomenology of religion and law, that is, the social context in which order and authority are negotiated in practice. The papers as a group traverse the late nineteenth century to the present, and attend to wide-ranging developments across administrative law, personal status, constitutional law, and criminal law. They shed new light on the foundational claims of the critique of secularism that will be of interest not only to scholars of Egypt, but also those working broadly at the intersection of religion, state, and modernity.

DISCIPLINES:

Law; Law

ABSTRACTS:

MEMBERS:

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Khaled Fahmy

(University of Cambridge)
Khaled Fahmy is Sultan Qaboos Professor of Modern Arabic Studies at the University of Cambridge. He previously taught Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Princeton, NYU, Columbia, Harvard and AUC. His academic publications include In Quest of Justice:...
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Mona Oraby

(Amherst College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Mina Khalil

(Harvard Law School)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;
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Ahmed Ezzat

(University of Cambridge)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;
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Andreas Nabil Younan

(University of Cambridge)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;