Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 44, No 4 (2015)

Worlds Apart: The Essentials of Critical Thinking

K. Merinda Simmons
Issued Date: 15 Jan 2016

Abstract


In this essay, I consider what the publication of Schaffalitzky de Muckadell’s essay “On Essentialism and Real Definitions of Religion” in the JAAR reflects about the state of religious studies as a discipline, arguing that there appears increasing room for overt essentialism in the name of liberal humanism and progressive politics. Reflecting on this unfortunate trend in the academic study of religion, I ask that scholars clarify two things when engaging in critical thinking: the claims embedded in their own identifications and the audience with and to whom they aim to speak.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.v44i4.27562

References


Esposito, John L. 2014. “Islam in the Public Square.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82 (2) 291–306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfu014.


Hughes, Aaron. 2012. “The Study of Islam Before and After September 11: A Provocation.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 24: 314–36.http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15700682-12341234


Wallace, David Foster. 2005. “Authority and American Usage.” In Consider the Lobster, 66–127. New York: Little, Brown and Company.


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