A story of the secular that assumes a progressive and inevitable move from more religious to less religious is a reduction of experience to the point of actual and symbolic violence. It is an ethnocentric projection which prolongs a sense that We have superseded history to take an objective position. It seeks to de-anthropologise one set of human values in relation to another. … More The secular is not just about religion.
In examining ‘being’ religious and how we ‘become’ secular, the paper brings together ideas about how veiling works in different European countries and how public space works in these various contexts. In Ireland, where veiling has been an important part of Catholic consciousness in public since the nineteenth century, there is little discussion about the place of veiled women in public spaces. … More Valuable lessons
Our bodies become (and this I think is important in understanding what we mean by secular) subjects of nature, not of God. We punish our bodies by eating the wrong foods, by not getting enough exercise and so on. Gillian McKeith knows this and exploits this moral economy well. … More Pain, abstinence and the Daily Mail
What is different about a War on Terror is that it blurs the distinction between citizen/subject and military personnel to the extent that the very idea of sovereignty is questionable. … More Talal Asad at EASA, Maynooth
So what did I learn? I learned that talking about European established churches does not mean that only one church is established; I learned that it is not always good to meet authors in the flesh whom you admire for their writing; I learned that Oxford’s Pizza Express is a poor imitation of a restaurant. … More Renewing the European Catholic Social Conscience conference