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MUSLIM IMAGINARIES AND IMAGINARY MUSLIMS: Placing Islam in Conversation with A Secular Age


Elizabeth Barre is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College, after having previously held positions at Lake Forest College and Emory University. She is currently completing a project comparing recent Muslim debates about liberalism, democracy, and the separation of religion and politics to similar debates that arose within the Catholic tradition around the time of the Second Vatican Council. Elizabeth A. Barre, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E 71st Street, New York, NY 10021,


This essay begins by exploring the extent to which the narrative of secularization presented in Charles Taylor's A Secular Age might be complicated or otherwise challenged by taking account of parallel processes within Islamic thought and practice. It then considers whether Taylor's argument might nevertheless be applicable to, or illuminative of, contemporary struggles with modernity in the Muslim world.