Citation

Is Egypt a Secular or Religious State?

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Get this Document | Similar Titles



Abstract:

Is Egypt a secular or a religious state? It exhibits ambiguities whereby religion and politics are continually entangled in ways that foster religious-secular conflict. These ambiguities have led observers to say that Egypt is, at best, an incompletely secular state.

Yet assessments of Egypt’s secular status are circular. On the one hand, religious-secular conflict is seen as evidence of an incompletely secular state. On the other, its incompletely secular status is seen as an explanation for secular-religious conflict. This circularity indicates an inadequate conception of secularism.

This essay aims to provide a more adequate understanding of secularism and argues that an emphasis on a separation between religion and politics doesn’t capture some of its more important characteristics. I suggest that secularism can be usefully understood as a process and a set of structures under which the question of where to draw a line between religion and politics continually arises and assumes a distinctive salience. The authority to decide this question is rooted in the sovereign state and typically vested in the law and the legal system.

Through an ethnography of Egyptian legal practices I trace how this question is decided and how it continually arises. I show how the concepts typically employed in the process of deciding it, such as “public order and good morals,” are themselves fraught with ambiguities and contradictions that entangle religion and politics. These concepts, however, are not peculiar to Egypt, and form a basis for secular power and decision even in the paradigmatic secular states.
Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: The Law and Society Association
URL:
http://www.lawandsociety.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p177587_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Agrama, Hussein. "Is Egypt a Secular or Religious State?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, TBA, Berlin, Germany, Jul 25, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p177587_index.html>

APA Citation:

Agrama, H. A. , 2007-07-25 "Is Egypt a Secular or Religious State?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, TBA, Berlin, Germany <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p177587_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Is Egypt a secular or a religious state? It exhibits ambiguities whereby religion and politics are continually entangled in ways that foster religious-secular conflict. These ambiguities have led observers to say that Egypt is, at best, an incompletely secular state.

Yet assessments of Egypt’s secular status are circular. On the one hand, religious-secular conflict is seen as evidence of an incompletely secular state. On the other, its incompletely secular status is seen as an explanation for secular-religious conflict. This circularity indicates an inadequate conception of secularism.

This essay aims to provide a more adequate understanding of secularism and argues that an emphasis on a separation between religion and politics doesn’t capture some of its more important characteristics. I suggest that secularism can be usefully understood as a process and a set of structures under which the question of where to draw a line between religion and politics continually arises and assumes a distinctive salience. The authority to decide this question is rooted in the sovereign state and typically vested in the law and the legal system.

Through an ethnography of Egyptian legal practices I trace how this question is decided and how it continually arises. I show how the concepts typically employed in the process of deciding it, such as “public order and good morals,” are themselves fraught with ambiguities and contradictions that entangle religion and politics. These concepts, however, are not peculiar to Egypt, and form a basis for secular power and decision even in the paradigmatic secular states.

Get this Document:

Find this citation or document at one or all of these locations below. The links below may have the citation or the entire document for free or you may purchase access to the document. Clicking on these links will change the site you're on and empty your shopping cart.

Associated Document Available Access Fee All Academic Inc.


Similar Titles:
Religious Fundamentalism and De-secularization of State: Role of Urban Civil Society in Bangladesh

The Mode of Modern State Power Operations on Religious Minorities: Violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt

How Does the State Structure Secularization? Administrative Centralization and Religious Education in America and Australia


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.