Talal Asad

Professor of Anthropology, City Univerisity of New York

"I am interested in the phenomenon of religion (and secularism) as an integral part of modernity, and especially in the religious revival in the Middle East. Connected with this is my interest in the links between religious and secular notions of pain and cruelty, and therefore with the modern discourse of Human Rights. My long-term research concerns the transformation of religious law (the shari'ah) in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Egypt with special reference to arguments about what constitutes secular and progressive reform."

(from http://web.gc.cuny.edu/anthropology/fac_asad.html)