In Religious Difference in a Secular Age (2016), Saba Mahmood calls into question one of secularism’s greatest boasts—that it makes possible pluralistic societies that protect the rights of religious minorities. Rather than bolstering neutrality toward religion, she demonstrates how secularism instead creates and exacerbates interreligious conflicts. As Nermeen Mouftah discusses in this essay, to accomplish this, Mahmood probes reckonings with and representations of history. Indeed, history is the scaffolding for two distinct forms of the secular.

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