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Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular by Mathieu E. Courville

Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular


Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular by Mathieu E. Courville

Edward Said's Rhetoric of the Secular provides an important new reading of Edward W. Said's work, emphasizing not only the distinction but also the fuzzy borders between representations of 'the religious' and 'the secular' found within and throughout his oeuvre and at the core of some of his most customary rhetorical strategies. Mathieu Courville begins by examining Said's own reflections on his life, before moving on to key debates about Said's work within Religious Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, and his relationship to French critical theorists. Through close attention to Said's use of the literal and the figurative when dealing with religious, national and cultural matters, Courville discerns a pattern that illuminates what Said means by secular. Said's work shows that the secular is not the utter opposite of religion in the modern globalized world, but may exist in a productive tension with it.

About the Author

Mathieu E. Courville was awarded a Canada Graduate Doctoral Award as well as a Canada Post-Doctoral Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He has served as Canadian Graduate Student Representative of the Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion (CCSR) from 2004 to 2007 and as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (CSRS) at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada, during the 2008-2009 academic year.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th October 2011


Mathieu E. Courville

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Continuum Publishing Corporation


258 pages


Humanist & secular alternatives to religion



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