Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (Paperback)
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A genealogy of fanaticism--unearthing its long history, before it became a tool in the Clash of Civilizations The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano's compelling and erudite counter-history explodes this accepted interpretation in exploring the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state. In a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of his role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.
About the Author
Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory and Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Theory at Goldsmiths University, London. He is the author of The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation Between Kant and Deleuze and (with Jeff Kinkle) Cartographies of the Absolute.