Identity Politics in India and Europe combines qualitative methods (20 interviews) with historical and philosophical analysis. The first part of the book discusses the history of perceptions between the Europe of Latin Christianity and the so-called Muslim world, starting from the 7th century onwards. The second part is devoted to a discussion on the emergence of modernity and how it changed the identity politics of earlier times. The third part explores the role that intellectual elites have to play. It comprises interviews of eminent scholars and thinkers in India such as Imtiaz Ahmad and Ashis Nandy. These make for an insightful read, especially as subtle ideological differences surface in their responses to a set of common questions.

Religion and the ‘Religious’

Religion and the ‘Religious’

Religion and the ‘religious’

In the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age, natural law and natural rights take the place of the sacral in the semiotic context of older reference frames that were conceived as equally universal by the religious authorities (Church, ulama). I would, however, not go as far as Meyer to call the idea of human rights, for example, ‘religious’ in the same way as the idea of the God (or Gods) as former guarantors of social and legal order.1 I would like to restrict the term religious (in the literal sense) to those attitudes, beliefs and actions which (purport to) relate to the supernatural, the transcendent, to which humans refer in praying, offering, cursing or the ...

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