BOOK REVIEWS AWARENESS BOUND AND UNBOUND: BUDDHIST ESSAYS. By David R. Loy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2009. 208 pp. What is the place of religion and of religious thinking in relation to the critique of culture and society? This perennial question of modern thought has dramatically recurred in the critical-theoretical debates of the recent past, perhaps most influentially in the distinction made by Edward Said (19352003) between "secular" and "religious" forms of critique. For Said, and the generations of critical theorists who have followed him, "religion" figured as an antagonist to social critique and social change. In this version of Viconian Marxism, religion is always directing attention to a metaphysical sphere understood as being beyond the realms of society and history, an unchanging and imaginary dimension of essences or eternal substances the contemplation of which blocks a realization of the humanly constructed (Vico) actions of human history with all of their demands for worldly engagement and temporal understanding (Marx). Critical theory must be secular, addressing human concerns and realizing that what is human is changing and sociohistorically produced. Religion can be an object of critique (the critique of religion is the beginning of all criticism,
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 4, 2011
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