Intersecting Fears of Islamophobia and Homophobia: A Call For Proposals

Contending Modernities editors will eagerly receive proposals for symposia of three to four commentators, scholars, and activists on a specific issue, event, or theme. Symposia authors will ideally be a mix of senior scholars, graduate students, and public intellectuals. We will also allow single-author submissions, though we will give preference to conversations and encourage single-author submissions to respond to material already published on Contending Modernities.

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What’s ethical about popular casuistry?


Lynch’s proposal strikes me as potentially quite fruitful as a mode of ethical and political analysis. She not only retrieves the notion of casuistry, but develops it as a lens to understand the everyday ethics of humanitarian actors. To harvest these fruits, however, I want to encourage Lynch to further clarity about the conceptual work that casuistry does in her research. Read the full article »

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Religious humanitarians and the challenges of history


Lynch’s research is to be celebrated for the ways it foregrounds and explicates the importance of interrogating the discursive formations that inform religious ethics and popular casuistry. Her neo-Weberian framing allows for an elastic lens through which to examine the intersections of neoliberal and (African) orientalist discourses in the diffusion and praxis of the technocratic donor-driven apparatus of humanitarianism and development work. Read the full article »

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From power to the spaces of the ethical


Religious and secular identities and reasons constitute much of the ethical motivations for activists’ political practices. These categories are often sources of deep difference but they also point toward the transformation that only differences can bring—the transformation that can sustain, rather than eliminate, deep religious-secular pluralism. Focusing solely on the dynamics of power obscures our capacity to describe and theorize this normative work. Read the full article »

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St. Hedwig’s or St. Casimir’s and why the difference matters


Just as the identification ‘religious’ says only little in itself, there’s no such thing as the secular person. The Asadians are correct that these words come to life – have salience – in mutual tension. Like other identity categories, ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ are defined through historical use. The fact that someone is religious may seem unimportant to that person. Perhaps what matters in time x, place y is membership in St. Hedwig’s Polish Catholic Parish versus St. Casimir’s, a church equally Polish and Catholic. Read the full article »

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