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Accepted Paper:

'They have always been post-secular': arguments on the 'political' from a subaltern community in north India  
Manuela Ciotti (University of Vienna)

Paper long abstract:

'Religion' amongst untouchable communities in India usually evokes attributes of marginality, alterity and contestation. A tense site of social relations, the 'sacred' for these communities could never be de-linked from the 'secular' and from the ways in which these communities envisaged their own project of modernity. It is argued that manifestations of the 'political' emerging from untouchable movements have always been of a 'post-secular' nature. Re-conceptualising the 'political' in India along post-secular lines will not only signify comparatively exploring the homology between 'Europeans [who] have recently stopped having been modern' and 'the 'others', by contrast, [who] have also stopped having been 'other' in the culturalist way modernism had imposed on them'(Latour 2009: 460), but also striking the fine balance between an already existing 'post-secular' phenomenology of the political and compulsions of religious nationalism, de-orientalising efforts and the universality of human rights, social justice and citizenship.

E-paper: this Paper will not be presented, but read in advance and discussed

Panel W051
From the mouth of God: 'the political' from a post-secular perspective