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AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Online Program Book

  • Books under Discussion
Cultural History of the Study of Religion Unit
Theme: Author Meets Critics: Irfan Ahmad's Religion as Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)
SherAli Tareen, Franklin and Marshall College, Presiding
Saturday - 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Convention Center-603 (Street Level)

This roundtable panel brings together senior and junior scholars invested in questions of Islam, religion, and critique from varied thematic perspectives and specializations in Religious Studies for a discussion on Irfan Ahmad’s recently published book Religion as Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace (UNC Press, 2017). In a nutshell, this book represents a devastating indictment of the dominant liberal assumption that Islam is inimical to critique. Turning this assumption on its head, Ahmad combines historical, textual, and ethnographic methods to argue that critique is and has always been central to Muslim intellectual thought and lived practice. This roundtable panel will provide the opportunity to explore and engage important questions and points of contention raised by this book. It should generate interest and enthusiasm amongst a range of scholars in Religious Studies including those with interests in Islamic Studies, South Asian Religion, Philosophy, Postcolonial Thought, and Anthropology.

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont
Peter Gottschalk, Wesleyan University
Ebrahim E. I. Moosa, University of Notre Dame
Teena Purohit, Boston University
Marcia Hermansen, Loyola University, Chicago
Irfan Ahmad, Max Planck Society
Business Meeting:
Elizabeth Ann Pritchard, Bowdoin College
J. Barton Scott, University of Toronto