Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways

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Oxford University Press, 2013 - Political Science - 288 pages
Olivier Roy, world-renowned authority on Islam and politics, finds in the modern disconnection between faith communities and socio-cultural identities a fertile space for fundamentalism to grow. Instead of freeing the world from religion, secularization has encouraged a kind of holy ignorance
to take root, an anti-intellectualism that promises immediate, emotional access to the sacred and positions itself in direct opposition to contemporary pagan culture. The secularization of society was supposed to free people from religion, yet individuals are converting en masse to fundamentalist
faiths, such as Protestant evangelicalism, Islamic Salafism, and Haredi Judaism. These religions either reconnect adherents to their culture through casual referents, like halal fast food, or maintain their momentum through purification rituals, such as speaking in tongues, a practice that allows
believers to utter a language that is entirely their own. Instead of a return to traditional religious worship, we are now witnessing the individualisation of faith and the disassociation of faith communities from ethnic and national identities. Roy explores the options now available to powers that
hope to integrate or control these groups; and whether marginalisation or homogenisation will further divide believers from their culture.
 

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This is wide-sweeping look at the presence of religion in today's world Roy shows that much religion has become detached from the culture in which it came into being. This has lent a greater fervency ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
THE INCULTURATION OF RELIGION
21
GLOBALIZATION AND RELIGION
147
Glossary
219
Notes
225
Index
255
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About the author (2013)


Olivier Roy is one of the most distinguished analysts of and commentators on political Islam in the Muslim Middle East and Central Asia. He is Professor at the European University Institute in Florence.

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