Friday, 4 September 2015
Identity and the Politics of Scholarship in the Study of Religion,
ed. José Ignacio Cabezón & Sheila Greeve Davaney, Routledge, 2004, page 4
In the introduction to an interesting book that has recently landed on my table, Cabezón and Davaney set the background for the essays in an interesting and, at least for me as a PhD candidate, essential review of the position of a researcher and the role or antcedent or 'insider' knowledge that we have already discussed in the work of Caroline Lunsford Mears. This book was written some years before Mears' "The Gateway Approach". They open the discussion by talking about identity and location in the time after World War II.
Where once identity and location were deemed unimportant - or else easily bracketed away - now they moved to the foreground; factors such as race, gender, class, economic interests and the specifics of individual or communal experience were no longer seen as extraneous to the production of academic knowledge but were, for good or ill, the central categories that framed such knowledge.
Join me over the next few days as I consider what that heady statement means, either for my own work or for the work of the academy as a whole.