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Thinking Past Terror

Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left

Susan Buck-Morss


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Renowned critical theorist Susan Buck-Morss argues convincingly that a global public needs to think past the twin insanities of terrorism and counter-terrorism in order to dismantle regressive intellectual barriers. Surveying the widespread literature on the relationship of Islam to modernity, she reveals that there is surprising overlap where scholars commonly and simplistically see antithesis. Thinking Past Terror situates this engagement with the study of Islam among critical contemporary discourses—feminism, post-colonialism and the critique of determinism.

In a new preface to this paperback edition, Susan Buck-Morss reflects on the events that have marked the world since the book was first published.

Praise For Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left

“An insightful and important new edition to critical theory for our century.”—Clamor

“This is a highly appealing scenario of communication producing and illuminating dissent.”—Bookforum

“Thoughtfully and insightfully written ... Thinking Past Terror looks forward to the goal of a cosmopolitan Left that can find unity and strength to remain viable in ever-changing times.”—Bookwatch

“Susan Buck-Morss enables us to discover the Islamists as our neighbors: neither as fundamentalist fanatics unable to cope with modernity, nor as the exotic authentic Other, but as people sharing the same global predicament as ourselves.”—Slavoj Žižek

Verso, 9781844675623, 158pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 2006

About the Author

Susan Buck-Morss is Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory at Cornell University. She is the author of Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project and The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt Institute.