Who owns religion? : scholars and their publics in the late twentieth century (Book, 2019) [WorldCat.org]
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Who owns religion? : scholars and their publics in the late twentieth century
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Who owns religion? : scholars and their publics in the late twentieth century

Author: Laurie L Patton
Publisher: Chicago ; London The University of Chicago Press 2019
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
One afternoon, Laurie Patton, then chair of the religious studies department at her university, sat in her office collating death threats. A colleague had come under attack by members of the Hindu diaspora for a scholarly study that they judged offensive. A global petition demanded that the book be withdrawn, and threats against the author included explicit calls for his execution. This case is one of many in which
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Additional Physical Format: Erscheint auch als:
Online-Ausgabe
ebook version:
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Laurie L Patton
ISBN: 9780226649344 0226649342 9780226675985 022667598X
OCLC Number: 1145266075
Description: 332 Seiten ; 24 cm
Other Titles: Scholars and their publics in the late 20th century
Responsibility: Laurie L. Patton.

Abstract:

One afternoon, Laurie Patton, then chair of the religious studies department at her university, sat in her office collating death threats. A colleague had come under attack by members of the Hindu diaspora for a scholarly study that they judged offensive. A global petition demanded that the book be withdrawn, and threats against the author included explicit calls for his execution. This case is one of many in which the secular study of religion has scandalized-and been passionately refuted by-the very communities it had imagined itself embracing. Authors of seemingly arcane studies on subjects like the origins of the idea of Mother Earth or the sexual dynamics of mysticism have been targets of hate mail and topics of book-banning discussions. As a result, scholars of religion have struggled to describe their own work even to themselves.

In this book, scholar and noted university administrator Laurie Patton looks at the cultural work of religious studies through scholars' clashes with religious communities, especially in the late 1980s and 90s. These kinds of controversies emerged with new frequency and passion during this period because of two conditions: 1) the rise of the multicultural politics of recognition, which changed the nature of debate in the public sphere and created the possibility for Patton calls "eruptive" public spaces; and 2) the emergence of the Internet, which changed the nature of readership. "Others" about whom scholars wrote to their colleagues were now also readers who could agree or condemn in public forums. These controversies were also fundamentally about something new: the very rights of secular, Western hermeneutics to interpret religions at all. Patton's book holds out hope that scholars can find a space for their work between the university and the communities they study. .

Their role, she suggests, is similar to that of the wise fool in many classical dramas and indeed in many religious traditions. Scholars of religion have multiple masters and must move between them while speaking a truth that not everyone may be interested in hearing.

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