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Questioning SecularismIslam, Sovereignty, and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt$
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Hussein Ali Agrama

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226010687

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226010700.001.0001

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A Secular or a Religious State?

A Secular or a Religious State?

(p.1) Introduction A Secular or a Religious State?
Questioning Secularism

Hussein Ali Agrama

University of Chicago Press

This introductory first chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to address the question of whether Egypt is a secular or a religious state. The aim, however, is not to provide an answer either way, secular or religious. Rather, the goal is to elicit a different understanding of this question, its presuppositions, the forms it takes, the affects that infuse it, its conditions of felicity, and its resilient force. The chapter then describes how the book's chapters came together, the motivations of the initial project, the assumptions that had to be dropped or revised, and how all of this led to an exploration and rethinking of secularism. These lay the groundwork for the arguments of the chapters and articulate some of the critical conceptual orientations that implicitly guide them.

Keywords:   Egypt, secularism, religion

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