Famous Quotes & Sayings

Talal Asad Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 20 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Talal Asad.

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Famous Quotes By Talal Asad

Talal Asad Quotes 638573

For the law, the clarity of language and the finality of judgment is crucial, because you have to decide a case one way or another - whether it is criminal or civil or whatever. In ordinary life, you do not have to decide things with absolute finality. You do not have to decide on a theory in order to behave in a certain way towards other people. — Talal Asad

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I think we need to think about Islamic tradition as a way of asking questions that cut across (and transgress) the assumptions of a purely secular world in which we already know how things stand for individual subjects as well as for societies. — Talal Asad

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Believers are often thought of as people who have some kind of private conviction or repudiation of something, whereas "the faithful" refers to a relationship, which was also incidentally the earlier sense of "faith" in premodern, preliberal Christianity. This is not to say, incidentally, that "faith" refers simply to external behavior as opposed to internal belief but that it refers to an act. — Talal Asad

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The Genealogical Science is a wonderful account of how old-fashioned race science has come to be re-defined by resort to the most recent developments in genetics. But this book is not simply another story of the ideological uses to which science may be put. Nadia Abu El-Haj has provided the reader with a very detailed analysis of the historical entanglement between science and politics. Her study should be required reading for anyone interested in the sociology of science-and also for those dealing with Middle Eastern nationalisms. This is a work of outstanding value for scholarship. — Talal Asad

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Modern sovereignty, whether expressed through killing in battle or the torture of suspects, brings together the desire to build up and the desire to destroy, to let Aid Agencies offer charity (in its original meaning of "love") while the military offers death. The two are intrinsically connected. — Talal Asad

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It seems to me perfectly possible to act humanely towards other beings, whether humans or animals or plants. One simply has to learn how to behave. To behave "humanely" it is perfectly possible to do without the notion of "humanity." — Talal Asad

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Why is it that aggression in the name of God shocks secular liberal sensibilities, whereas the act of killing in the name of the secular nation, or of democracy, does not? — Talal Asad

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I think the approach to Islam as a tradition is helpful. Tradition helps us to focus on questions about authority and temporality, and about the language used in relation to the two. — Talal Asad

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The propensity to intellectualize is itself both essential and dangerous. I think in our modern world we are much more aware of its essential character than of its dangers, and that is why I think of it as being an expression of transcendence. — Talal Asad

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I'm not criticizing how people experience what they might call spirituality. I am interested in looking critically at something else - at how people use their language to articulate theories about something they call religion, to say, for example, that "in Islam religion and politics necessarily go together," or to insist that "violence has no place in religion," to universalize it. — Talal Asad

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Tradition is not something a man can learn; not a thread he picks up when he feels like it; any more than a man can choose his own ancestors. Someone lacking a tradition who would like to have one is like a man unhappily in love. — Talal Asad

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In liberal society we claim that freedom of speech is sacred and therefore has an absolute character. But we know (or should know) that "free speech" inhabits a structured space: not only is "hate speech" legally forbidden in liberal societies, but there are also laws protecting the circulation of copyrighted material, and the reproduction of trademarks and patents without explicit permission. — Talal Asad

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I do not criticize religion as such, but I criticize the concept and the definition of "religion" - as I said in Genealogies. — Talal Asad

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The notion of "humanity" as a form of transcendence derives, I think, from the conviction that intellectuality possesses an absolute power, from the demand that our best behavior depends on our ability to think abstractly, in terms of a universal rule, about something called humanity, that we need to understand humanity abstractly so that we can act responsibly towards those who represent it. — Talal Asad

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Tradition is an aspiration to connect the Self with the Other. One "internalizes" the Other as one acquires a sense of what one's own tradition is, what one belongs to and what gives valid shape to one's life. — Talal Asad

Talal Asad Quotes 1340442

You should never employ your intellect but only that it is not essential to exercise it in order to live a humane life. Language permeates all of life, of course, and one's mind is essential to it, but that does not mean intellectuality should transcend all of life. — Talal Asad

Talal Asad Quotes 1737819

Certainly in order to understand the natural world one needs clarity, logic, and the capacity for theory building. But that understanding tends to improve because and to the extent that it is provisional, hypothetical, when it looks for disconfirmation in the particular rather than final proof as a universal. — Talal Asad

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You do not need intellectuality for deep faith. You do not need it for behaving humanely towards people whether fellow Muslims or non-Muslims. You do not need a concept, a theory, you do not need intellectual arguments for justifying a way of living that is already in place in order for it to proceed. — Talal Asad

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Language has multiple uses, and is embedded in different forms of life. It is not necessary to have this grand concept of "humanity" in order to behave decently. — Talal Asad

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I do not think there is such a thing as a "clash of civilizations." When I say that Muslims as Muslims cannot be represented in the West, I was being ironic, and also referring to the fact that ninety percent of the time when people talk about "the problem of Muslims" in the West, it is to complain about the fact that Muslims have not "integrated." — Talal Asad