chapter  10
12 Pages

‘Real’ Islam in Kazan: Reconfiguring the Modern, Knowledge and Gender

WithSarah Bracke

Secularization theories, as an academic effort to elaborate how religion and modernity relate, are a significant site in the (discursive) production of secular modernity.1 The secularization paradigm consolidated by such theories holds a mythical quality, which shows in the ways the paradigm’s claims resist operationalization and empirical research defies its assumptions. Critical engagements with the paradigm engendered theoretically more sophisticated accounts of secularization: we are told that secularization should not be taken to mean religious decline, but rather refers to systemic changes such as the process of functional differentiation or the privatization of religion. More recently, scholarly attention to the secular has turned to exploring its epistemological assumptions. This critical move is not only concerned with investigating discourses or ideologies (of secularism) but also modern behaviours, knowledges and sensibilities as well as secular forms of governance (see notably the work of Talal Asad 2003).