Secularism Dissected

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How do we navigate a secular age? What is secularism? What would a critique of secularism look like? This course seeks to answer these three questions through a comprehensive dissection of secularism. This course is unique in that it provides the concepts needed to critique secularism and introduces students to key literature, including but not limited to those of Talal Asad, Charles Taylor, and Alasdair MacIntyre. By the end of the course, students will be equipped with foundational concepts needed to critique secularism and understand how to navigate a secular age. The course also covers the most pervasive form of secularism: liberalism.

The topics covered include an introduction to secularism and the historical processes involved in its formation. The course then goes on to tackle key claims of secularism: the so-called inevitability of secularism (secularization) and the supposed neutrality of secularism. The course also covers four critiques of secularism from an Islamic perspective. In short, not only will this course cover an internal critique of secularism, but will also equip students with the concepts needed to critique secularism from the point of view of our own tradition. The ultimate aim of this course is to enable Muslims to critically engage the world in a secular age, to reclaim our critical consciousness and chart new futures.

Ali S. Harfouch

Ali S. Harfouch obtained his Master of Arts degree in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut. He is the author of Against the World: Towards an Islamic Liberation Philosophy as well as more than a dozen articles. He specializes in political philosophy and politics in the Muslim world. You can find his work on asharfouch.com

1
Introduction
17:42

Module 1

1
What is Secularism?
42:41
2
What does it mean to be secular?
18:09
3
Understanding French Secularism
10:05
4
Quiz 1
8 questions

Module 2

1
Inventing Religion
11:29
2
Defining Religion
6:12
3
Capitalism as a Religon
9:42
4
The myth of religious violence
8:20
5
Quiz 2
6 questions

Module 3

1
Secularism in international relations
6:48
2
Varieties of Secularism
6:18
3
A negative representation of Islam
5:34
4
Türkiye and the European Union
7:59
5
Quiz 3
6 questions

Module 4

1
Secularism and the creation of "Moderate Muslim"
9:28
2
Quiz 4
3 questions

Module 5

1
Is Secularism neutral?
4:44
2
Secularisation versus Secularism
2:14
3
Secularism is not neutral
12:40
4
Quiz 5
6 questions

Module 6

1
Secularism and Liberalism
9:25
2
Why liberalism is an impoverished tradition?
4:16
3
Quiz 6
7 questions

Module 7

1
Inventing the secular state
14:43
2
Quiz 7
4 questions

Module 8: Secularism & The Islamic Critique

1
State sovereignty
19:53
2
A second nature in man
4:42
3
Does liberalism liberate the rūh?
8:16
4
The Qur'an on the sovereignty of the world
8:30
5
The problem of lawmaking
7:35
6
Quiz 8
4 questions