Abstract

For all its unfashionable teleological inevitability, its brash aspirations to universality, the story of advancing secularization remains the one progress narrative to which professional literary study typically attaches its own discourses and aims. Michael Kaufmann urges literary scholars to bring critical scrutiny to bear on the ostensibly closed (if embattled) narrative of secularization in the interest of revisiting normative assumptions that have shaped and constrained the development of professional identity. Underscoring Kaufmann's call, Fessenden looks beyond the institutional grounding of literary studies to consider broader political consequences of leaving the religion/secular binary unexamined and undisturbed. In particular, she notes the problematic deference religion receives when its relation to the secular is mapped onto a familiar liberal model of private and public domains.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 631-636
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-21
Open Access
No
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