A Confederacy of Saints and Sinners?
Accommodating Faith and Secularity in the Public Square
Author(s): Luca Mavelli & Anne Norton & Naomi Davidson & Rowan Williams
Reviewed by: S Parvez Manzoor, Stockholm, Sweden
Europe’s Encounter with Islam: The secular and the postsecular. By Luca Mavelli. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. Pp. 184. ISBN: 7800415693295.
On the Muslim Question. By Anne Norton. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013. Pp. 382. ISBN: 9780691157047.
Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth Century France. By Naomi Davidson. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2012. Pp. 320. ISBN: 9780801450914.
Faithin the Public Square. By Rowan Williams. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. Pp. 344. ISBN: 9781408187586.
If modernity is perceived as an unfinished project, then secularity too, it is reasonable to assume, is destined to remain an unfulfilled promise. History, it appears, is in no hurry to bring its mission to fruition. The goal of an ‘enlightened’ humanity, disdainful of the enchanted world, indifferent to the mystery of being, and uncaring about the transcendent ends of morality and politics, seems remote if not defunct. Indeed, it lacks cogency as a valid insight into the human condition. Fundamentalism of doubt as the founding principle of politics, in other words, seems to have run its course.