Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

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Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004290591
Size: 66.53 MB
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Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty by


Original Title: Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

Religious-secular distinctions have been crucial to the way in which modern governments have rationalised their governance and marked out their sovereignty – as crucial as the territorial boundaries that they have drawn around nations. The authors of this volume provide a multi-dimensional picture of how the category of religion has served the ends of modern government.

Genealogies Of Religion

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Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801895936
Size: 68.14 MB
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Genealogies Of Religion by Talal Asad


Original Title: Genealogies Of Religion

In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood

Manufacturing Religion

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Author: Russell T. McCutcheon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195355680
Size: 64.62 MB
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Manufacturing Religion by Russell T. McCutcheon


Original Title: Manufacturing Religion

In this new book, author Russell McCutcheon offers a powerful critique of traditional scholarship on religion, focusing on multiple interrelated targets. Most prominent among these are the History of Religions as a discipline; Mircea Eliade, one of the founders of the modern discipline; recent scholarship on Eliade's life and politics; contemporary textbooks on world religions; and the oft-repeated bromide that "religion" is a sui generis phenomenon. McCutcheon skillfully analyzes the ideological basis for and service of the sui generis argument, demonstrating that it has been used to constitute the field's object of study in a form that is ahistoric, apolitical, fetishized, and sacrosanct. As such, he charges, it has helped to create departments, jobs, and publication outlets for those who are comfortable with such a suspect construction, while establishing a disciplinary ethos of astounding theoretical naivete and a body of scholarship to match. Surveying the textbooks available for introductory courses in comparative religion, the author finds that they uniformly adopt the sui generis line and all that comes with it. As a result, he argues, they are not just uncritical (which helps keep them popular among the audiences for which they are intended, but badly disserve), but actively inhibit the emergence of critical perspectives and capacities. And on the geo-political scale, he contends, the study of religion as an ahistorical category participates in a larger system of political domination and economic and cultural imperialism.

From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

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Author: Ariadne Staples
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113478788X
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From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins by Ariadne Staples


Original Title: From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

The role of women in Roman culture and society was a paradoxical one. On the one hand they enjoyed social, material and financial independence and on the other hand they were denied basic constitutional rights. Roman history is not short of powerful female figures, such as Agrippina and Livia, yet their power stemmed from their associations with great men and was not officially recognised. Ariadne Staples' book examines how women in Rome were perceived both by themselves and by men through women's participation in Roman religion, as Roman religious ritual provided the single public arena where women played a significant formal role. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins argues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity. Ariadne Staples provides an arresting and original analysis of the role of women in Roman society, which challenges traditionally held views and provokes further questions.

The Ideology Of Religious Studies

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Author: Timothy Fitzgerald
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195347159
Size: 46.89 MB
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The Ideology Of Religious Studies by Timothy Fitzgerald


Original Title: The Ideology Of Religious Studies

In recent years there has been an intensifying debate within the religious studies community about the validity of religion as an analytical category. In this book Fitzgerald sides with those who argue that the concept of religion itself should be abandoned. On the basis of his own research in India and Japan, and through a detailed analysis of the use of religion in a wide range of scholarly texts, the author maintains that the comparative study of religion is really a form of liberal ecumenical theology. By pretending to be a science, religion significantly distorts socio-cultural analysis. He suggest, however, that religious studies can be re-represented in a way which opens up new and productive theoretical connections with anthropology and cultural and literary studies.

World Religions In America Fourth Edition

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Author: Jacob Neusner
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 1611640474
Size: 40.50 MB
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World Religions In America Fourth Edition by Jacob Neusner


Original Title: World Religions In America Fourth Edition

The fourth edition of World Religions in America continues its lauded tradition of providing students with reliable and nuanced information about America's religious diversity, while also reflecting new developments and ideas. Each chapter was updated to reflect important changes and events, and current statistics and information. New features include a timeline of key events and people for each tradition, sidebars on major movements or controversies, personal stories from members of various faiths, a theme-based organization of subjects, more subheads, three new chapters exploring America's increasing religious diversity, and suggestions for further study.

Modern Religion Modern Race

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Author: Theodore Vial
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190212551
Size: 32.65 MB
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Modern Religion Modern Race by Theodore Vial


Original Title: Modern Religion Modern Race

Religion is a racialized category, even when race is not explicitly mentioned. In Modern Religion, Modern Race Theodore Vial argues that because the categories of religion and race are rooted in the post-Enlightenment project of reimagining what it means to be human, we cannot simply will ourselves to stop using them. Only by acknowledging that religion is already racialized can we begin to understand how the two concepts are intertwined and how they operate in our modern world. It has become common to argue that the category religion is not universal, or even very old, but is a product of Europe's Enlightenment modernization. Equally common is the argument that religion is not an innocent category of analysis, but is implicated in colonial regimes of control and as such plays a role in Europe's process of identity construction of itself and of non-European "others." Current debates about race follow an eerily similar trajectory: race is not an ancient but a modern construction. It is part of the project of colonialism, and race discourse forms one of the cornerstones of modern European identity-making. Why can't we stop using them, or re-construct them in less toxic ways? By examining the theories of Kant, Herder, and Schleiermacher, among others, Vial uncovers co-constitutive nature of race and religion, describes how they became building blocks of the modern world, and shows how the two concepts continue to be used today to form identity and to make sense of the world. He shows that while we disdain the racist language of some of the founders of religious studies, the continued influence of the modern worldview they helped create leads us, often unwittingly, to reiterate many of the same distinctions and hierarchies. Although it may not be time to abandon the very category of religion, with all its attendant baggage, Modern Religion, Modern Race calls for us to examine that baggage critically, and to be fully conscious of the ways in which religion always carries with it dangerous ideas of race.

Relating Religion

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Author: Jonathan Z. Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226763873
Size: 19.88 MB
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Relating Religion by Jonathan Z. Smith


Original Title: Relating Religion

One of the most influential theorists of religion, Jonathan Z. Smith is best known for his analyses of religious studies as a discipline and for his advocacy and refinement of comparison as the basis for the history of religions. Relating Religion gathers seventeen essays—four of them never before published—that together provide the first broad overview of Smith's thinking since his seminal 1982 book, Imagining Religion. Smith first explains how he was drawn to the study of religion, outlines his own theoretical commitments, and draws the connections between his thinking and his concerns for general education. He then engages several figures and traditions that serve to define his interests within the larger setting of the discipline. The essays that follow consider the role of taxonomy and classification in the study of religion, the construction of difference, and the procedures of generalization and redescription that Smith takes to be key to the comparative enterprise. The final essays deploy features of Smith's most recent work, especially the notion of translation. Heady, original, and provocative, Relating Religion is certain to be hailed as a landmark in the academic study and critical theory of religion.

Religion And The Secular

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Author: Timothy Fitzgerald
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317491009
Size: 22.29 MB
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Religion And The Secular by Timothy Fitzgerald


Original Title: Religion And The Secular

Religion has dominated colonialism since the 16th century. 'Religion and the Secular' critically examines how religion has been used to subject indigenous concepts to the needs of colonial powers. Essays present the colonial relationship from the perspective of colonized cultures - including Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Africa and Canada - and colonizing powers, namely England, Germany and the United States. The volume offers a historical and ethnographical analysis of the relationship between the sacred and the secular, examining religion in relation to politics, economics and civil power.

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