Wednesday, 9 September 2015
Identity and the Politics of Scholarship in the Study of Religion,
ed. José Ignacio Cabezón & Sheila Greeve Davaney, Routledge, 2004, page 18
Having argued for scholarly independence and the right of scholars to do scholarship without fear or hindrance, Cabezón and Davaney admit, in practice, that this is not actually reality.
The myth - perpetuated in large part by the objectivist rhetoric of the academy that still prevails in the academy's public face - claims that extra-academic forces (e.g. the views of extra-academic religious institutions or of funding sources) play no role in such decisions. But academics know that this is far from being the case.
Several of the essays in the book will challenge the myth, offering accounts of attempts to suppress academic work.
Especially when the subject matter is religion, when scholars' work goes against the views of a powerful tradition or makes public certain facets of the tradition that are usually concealed, and perhaps especially when scholars self-identify with the religions they study, external forces can play a decisive role in everything from hiring and tenure to funding.
Some things never seem to change!