Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Identity and the Politics of Scholarship in the Study of Religion,
ed. José Ignacio Cabezón & Sheila Greeve Davaney, Routledge, 2004,
Chapter 1 "Between Identity and Footnotes" (pp. 25-41), page 37
After discussing the particular difficulties that theologians have in being accepted as members of the academy - that a theologian is seen as beig a member of and serving a particular faith communit, rather than a scholare who happens to be studying theology - Davaney addresses the way in which the dominant conservative forces within religious groups, the 'orthodox' get to say who is or is not a member of the group and therefore able to have access to and speak about the group.
The marginal, the deviant, the rebellious, or simply the intellectually curious but religiously unaffiliated are ruled out just as surely as they were by their cohorts in other fields of the study of religion. In relation to theology, assertions of the importance of identity are often not vehicles for opening scholarship to heretofore silenced or critical voices, but tools for the conservative and dominant forces within religious traditions.