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Essay Series: The Premodern World and the Secular

Rushain Abbasi from Stanford University has hosted an online Symposium on "The Premodern World and the Secular" for the Political Theology Network this spring, aiming to examine "how premodern societies engaged with the question of where to draw the boundaries around religion, thus offering us an entry point into the shadowy world obscured by the secular as well as its critique. [...] The point of this collaborative effort is not to offer a totalizing theory or critique of the secular, but rather to offer glimpses into the past that may help reconstitute our present understanding."

This endeavour speaks directly to our research interests in the KFG "Multiple Secularities" – it is therefore no surprise that the essay series features contributions from our director Christoph Kleine (Preparing the Field for Secularity in Medieval Japan) and Senior Research Fellows Sita Steckel (Did medieval Christian Europe really produce early forms of secularity?) and Neguin Yavari (Supra Confessionals in the Medieval and Early Modern Persophone Zone) as well as essays bei Abbasi himself (If Not Secular, then What? Reflections on an Islamic Dialectic), Conor O'Brien (Secularizing Strategies in the Early Middle Ages) and Orit Malka (The Reasons for the Commandments: Premodern Jewish Self-Reflections on the Irrationality of Religion).

All contributions and a short introduction by Rushain Abbasi are available open access and can be found here.