Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular by Mathieu E. Courville

By Mathieu E. Courville

Ontends that Said's interpretation of the secular isn't the utter contrary of faith within the sleek globalized international. "Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular" offers a tremendous new analyzing of Edward W. Said's paintings, emphasizing not just the excellence but additionally the bushy borders among representations of 'the religious' and 'the secular' came across inside of and all through his oeuvre and on the center of a few of his such a lot well-known rhetorical thoughts. Mathieu Courville starts via reading Said's personal reflections on his existence, sooner than relocating directly to key debates approximately Said's paintings inside spiritual experiences and center jap reviews, and his dating to French serious theorists. via shut recognition to Said's use of the literal and the figurative while facing non secular, nationwide and cultural issues, Courville discerns a trend that illuminates what stated skill by means of secular. Said's paintings indicates that the secular isn't the utter contrary of faith within the sleek globalized international, yet may possibly exist in a efficient pressure with it.

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Religious criticism,” willingly or not, underemphasizes, or outrightly undermines, the dynamism of “subversive” (and in this sense “secular”) cultural and socio-political formations. 17 “Secular criticism” aims then at cultivating novel forms of existence. In Orientalism’s sequel, Culture and Imperialism, as well as in his 1993 Reith Lectures, Representations of the Intellectual, the emphasis on “mix-ity” is greater; the voices that resist against colonial discourses are also represented. 18 Recognizing the reality as well as the actual and potential strengths of the métissage of what some still take to be hermetically sealed off, mutually exclusive groupings—be they academic disciplines isolated from each other or from the world of politics, or cultures, nations, or civilizations, isolated from each other, or from shared taints of barbarism—becomes much more the main tasks of the “secular” scholar-critics and public intellectuals as Said envisions them.

72 Therefore, selectivity has been imperative; without such circumspection, this study could have resulted in a multi-tome work. Although Said’s view of the religious and the secular are integral to his views concerning literary creation, culture, criticism, Orientalism (among other academic disciplines), the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, mass media representations of Islam, “the world of nations” and nationalism, empire and imperialism, the role of intellectuals in the modern world, and even music, I do not believe anyone could or should have to read all that has been written about Said and his work before speaking; such a work would not result in a polyphonic symphony, but would rather sound like an orchestra as it tunes its instruments before a recital.

This work then is not only a critical examination of Said’s discourse concerning religion and the secular, but also of some of the varied prior readings of this discourse. My work, methodologically, is not simply close textual reading, nor 20 Edward Said’s Rhetoric of the Secular simply close textual reading attempting to reconcile (or rather, make plain the tensions between) texts and contexts, although these constitute weighty tasks in themselves. Methodologically, this work is also one that attempts to make the implicit explicit, letting what, for various reasons, could not be spoken outrightly, speak more freely.

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