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Expressing Post-Secular Citizenship

A Madrasa, an Ethic and a Comprehensive Doctrine

Zahraa McDonald

According to Habermas, the contemporary public sphere is post-secular. In other words, the continuing presence of religious communities within a secular society is indisputable. However, the significance of this is not entirely clear, despite intensive discussion by social scientists, journalists, policymakers and politicians regarding the role of religion in the public sphere. Understanding contemporary religious phenomena requires serious academic and public engagement.
Drawing on theoretical approaches from sociology (Max Weber), philosophy (John Rawls) and religious studies (Abdulkader Tayob), this book analyses empirical data from the study of a madrasa in South Africa in order to explore the important question of how individuals may engage in the public sphere as members of religious communities.
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It is necessary to make a humble attempt at demonstrating the efforts of others in bringing this book to fruition. I am not able to mention every individual who contributed to this endeavour but my gratitude goes to all, whether the effort was big or small, recent or in the past, direct or indirect. I merely say thank you from the bottom of my heart. My gratitude can never truly be expressed. May each be rewarded in the manner s/he desires. A number of individuals and institutions, however, must be mentioned, as their contributions were absolutely instrumental and pivotal.

Professors Tina Uys, Kammila Naidoo and Farid Esack, who supervised the study, provided guidance, support, dedication and patience from beginning to end. Thank you for everything; I am forever in your debt. Your efforts and determination in seeing it through will always be appreciated. Your expert advice and suggestions, despite everything else you needed to attend to, has not gone unnoticed. I appreciate all you have contributed.

The University of Johannesburg, the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation as well as Codesria contributed financially to the research project. In the absence of funding, the completion and quality of this study would have been severely compromised. While I am eternally grateful for all the funding received, any mistakes and opinions are solely my own. For dealing with matters related to administration of funds, Nandarani Maistri, Deborah Letseka and Palesa Luvhengo, thank you:...

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