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Talal Asad
Stanford Humanities Center

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Selected Bibliography of Talal Asad’s Publications

Asad has been an active author writing, in addition to his books, articles in a multitude of journals and compiled works.  Many of his articles have been translated and republished in journals from Europe, the Middle East to East Asia.  Among his current writing projects is a book with a working title Thinking About Suicide Bombing.  The following is a representative list of his publications.


Formations of the SecularFormations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, modernity.
Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, 2003.

 The review of this title by Marilyn Booth sums it up beautifully as “difficult if stunningly eloquent” (Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature, v. 4, no. 2, Spring, 2004 —


Genealogies of Religion


Genealogies of Religion: discipline and reasons of power in Christianity and Islam
Baltimore, MD : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

This title has made a great impact and has been much reviewed in the religious studies literature as well as anthropology.


The Sociology of Developing Societies: The Middle East, edited with R. Owen. London, UK : Macmillan & Co, 1983.

Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter, edited. London, UK : Ithaca Press, 1973.

The Kababish Arabs: Power, Authority and Consent in a Nomadic Tribe. London, UK : Hurst & Co., 1970.

Selected articles

... from Asad's field work in the Sudan:

“A note on the History of the Kababish Tribe" in Sudan Notes and Records v.47, 1966, pp.79-87.

 “The Beduin as a Military Force” in The Desert and the Sown: Nomads in the Wider Society (Institute of International Studies Research Series, no.21), Cynthia Nelson, ed.. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1973, pp. 61-73.

... concerning Islam and politics, and reform movements:

"Politics and Religion in Islamic Reform: a Critique of Kedourie's Afghani and Abduh", in Review of Middle East Studies, no.2, 1976, pp. 13-22.

“Ideology, Class and the Origin of the Islamic State” in Economy and Society, v. 9, n. 4, 1980, pp. 450-73.

“The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam”, Occasional Papers, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Washington, DC, Georgetown University, 1986.

“Ethnography, Literature, and Politics: Some Readings and Uses of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses”, Cultural Anthropology, v.5, no.3., 1990, pp. 239-269.

“Europe Against Islam: Islam in Europe”, Muslim World, v. 87, no.2, 1997, pp.183-196.

“Muslims and European Identity: Can Europe Represent Islam?” in The Idea of Europe, edited by Anthony Pagden, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press 2002, pp. 209-227.

... on secularism, politics, and religion:

“Religion, Nation State, Secularism” in Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, edited by Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1999, pp. 178-196.

“Thinking about secularism and law in Egypt.” Leiden, Netherlands, ISIM (Occasional paper, no. 2), 2001.

“Trying to understand French secularism.” In: Political Theologies, edited by Hent de Vries, New York, Fordham University Press, 2006.

“Explaining the Global Religious Revival: The Egyptian Case” in G. Ter Haar (ed.) Global Religions and the Modern World, Leiden, Netherlands, Brill, 2006. (Forthcoming.)


“Talal Asad, modern power and the reconfiguration of religious traditions.” (Asad interviewed by Saba Mahmood.) Stanford Humanities Review, v.5, no.1 (

“The Trouble of Thinking.” (Asad interviewed by David Scott.) In: Powers of the secular modern : Talal Asad and his interlocutors, David Scott, ed. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2006.





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