OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Modern Religion, Modern Race

ISBN : 9780190097646

Price(incl.tax): 
¥5,390
Author: 
Theodore M. Vial
Pages
296 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
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Religion is a racialized category, even when race is not explicitly mentioned. In Modern Religion, Modern Race Theodore Vial argues that because the categories of religion and race are rooted in the post-Enlightenment project of reimagining what it means to be human, we cannot simply will ourselves to stop using them. Only by acknowledging that religion is already racialized can we begin to understand how the two concepts are intertwined and how they operate in our modern world. It has become common to argue that the category religion is not universal, or even very old, but is a product of Europe's Enlightenment modernization. Equally common is the argument that religion is not an innocent category of analysis, but is implicated in colonial regimes of control and as such plays a role in Europe's process of identity construction of itself and of non-European "others." Current debates about race follow an eerily similar trajectory: race is not an ancient but a modern construction. It is part of the project of colonialism, and race discourse forms one of the cornerstones of modern European identity-making. Why can't we stop using them, or re-construct them in less toxic ways? By examining the theories of Kant, Herder, and Schleiermacher, among others, Vial uncovers co-constitutive nature of race and religion, describes how they became building blocks of the modern world, and shows how the two concepts continue to be used today to form identity and to make sense of the world. He shows that while we disdain the racist language of some of the founders of religious studies, the continued influence of the modern worldview they helped create leads us, often unwittingly, to reiterate many of the same distinctions and hierarchies. Although it may not be time to abandon the very category of religion, with all its attendant baggage, Modern Religion, Modern Race calls for us to examine that baggage critically, and to be fully conscious of ways in which religion always carries with it dangerous ideas of race.

Index: 

Abbreviations

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter One: Kant and Race

Chapter Two: On Religion: To Schleiermacher's Theoretical Despisers

Chapter 3: Chips from Another German Workshop: Friedrich Max Muller and Friedrich Schleiermacher on Language and Religion

Chapter 4: Modern Communities, National and Religious

Chapter 5: Herder and Schleiermacher as Unfamiliar Sources of Racism

Chapter 6: The Dark Side of Modern Religion

Chapter 7: Modernity and Teleology

Bibliography

Index

About the author: 

Theodore Vial teaches modern western religious thought. He is the author of Schleiermacher: A Guide for the Perplexed (2013), Liturgy Wars: Ritual Theory and Protestant Reform in Nineteenth-Century Zurich ( 2004); and co-editor of Ethical Monotheism, Past and Present: Essays in Honor of Wendell S. Dietrich (2001). Vial received his B.A. from Brown University and both M.A. and Ph. D. from The University of Chicago.

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