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Secular shadows: African, immanent, post-colonial

Engelke, Matthew (2015) Secular shadows: African, immanent, post-colonial. Critical Research on Religion, 3 (1). pp. 86-100. ISSN 2050-3032

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2050303215584229


Almost none of the critical theory concerned with the secular addresses it in relation to sub-Saharan Africa. This is notable not least given the extent to which other post-colonial regions, such as North Africa and South Asia, are central to such discussions. It is not, however, that the critical theorists are ignoring Africanists' work; indeed, looking at the Africanist literature in any depth makes it clear that there is not, and has never been, a field of “secular studies.” Taking this observation as a point of departure, and considering it in relation to a range of classic and contemporary ethnographic cases, this paper aims to shed light (and cast shadows) on some of the key terms in current debates about the secular—terms such as immanence, the mundane, critique, and doubt. In doing so, it calls for further considerations of how to figure the Africanist canon in relation to the terms of critical theory.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
LSE Human Rights
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 11:19
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 01:48

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