Secularism and Critique

In the lively debate over the question, ‘Is Critique Secular?’, very fundamental questions have been raised about critique itself, which go far beyond the issue of its secularist presuppositions. In this lecture the speaker argues that overcoming the secularist presuppositions of critique requires releasing ourselves from a picture of critique that continues to hold us captive. In his contribution to the ‘Is Critique Secular?’ debate, Talal Asad exposes some of the limitations and dangers of this picture of critique, but he nonetheless remains in its grip. Looking closely at Asad¹s argument, and pointing out its affinities with a number of contemporary critiques of critique the speaker intends to show how we might release ourselves from this picture of critique, and practice critique differently, without secularist (and Western) presuppositions.

Nikolas Kompridis is Research Professor in Philosophy and Political Thought, and the Director of the Institute for Social Justice at the Australian Catholic University. He is the author of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory Between Past and FutureThe Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought, and Philosophical Romanticism, as well as many papers on various topics in philosophy and political theory.

Rajeev Bhargava is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017
4.30 pm, CSDS Seminar Room