Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Identity and the Politics of Scholarship in the Study of Religion,
ed. José Ignacio Cabezón & Sheila Greeve Davaney, Routledge, 2004, page 15
Even standards themselves are, apparently, not fixed. Several contributors note that academic standards are not neutral or value-free. Davaney asserts:
standards of good scholarship are themselves socially constructed and therefore contestable and revisable. As such they do not embody some transhistorical or timeless norms but are reflective of the judgements and values of their time and place.
We should probably be relieved at that. All of us have read some historical work - scholarly, popular or even fiction - and shuddered, thinking, "That is so 'fifties'!" or whatever. We move on; the world moves on. It is against that backdrop that Davaney rightly says:
It becomes no less imperative to examine what values, commitments and forms of power shape academic criteria that to interrogate therole of identity in shaping scholarly agendas and claims.