Formulating a rigorously historicist approach to contemporary cultures of Islam can build on Asad’ pivotal concept in The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam: not the “discursive tradition,” but the discursivity of tradition. Already implicit in its reiterative tradition, the modernity of Islam consists in the reconfigured powers of discursivity beyond discourse.
God’s covenant with humanity and creation after the Flood is a universal one, a theme that is often revisited in later Scriptures. This is an important word in a world with wars fuelled by religious differences.
Within a few days following the shock of the terrorist assault on, and wanton slaughter of the staff of, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the deeper crisis of Western liberal democracy—the crisis of universalism versus multiculturalism—surged into view.