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4. An Uneasy Silence: J. Z. Smith and the Divorce of Race from Power

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1. Title Title of document 4. An Uneasy Silence: J. Z. Smith and the Divorce of Race from Power - Thinking with J. Z. Smith
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Craig Prentiss; Rockhurst University; United States
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) J.Z. Smith; study of religion; religious studies; history of religion; comparison; religious education; religious pedagogy; religious categories; method in religion
5. Subject Subject classification Study of Religion
6. Description Abstract Craig R. Prentiss takes a closer and critical look at one of the topics Smith addressed - the birth of racial imagination – to conclude that in “Close Encounters” Smith conceptualizes race “in such a way as to render the ferocious subjugation of bodies, the organization of massive new labor forces, the plundering of resources, the expropriation of lands, and the production of an intellectual scaffolding necessary for the manufacture and maintenance of historically contingent authority structures, secondary to a set of logic games playing out in the minds of a comparatively small band of renegade intellectuals comfortable casting off the shackles imposed by the hegemonic status of biblical creation”. As such, Prentiss claims, the problem with Smith’s account of the birth of racial imagination is not that it is “wrong” but rather that its usefulness is very limited because it ignores power relations that are always a factor in any taxonomic enterprise, including the constitution of “difference”. Like a Tylorian intellectualist treatment of religion as emerging from the puzzling nature of death and dreams, Smith’s “Close Encounters of Diverse Kinds” treats “race” as springing from an apparently innocent human curiosity about difference.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 18-Jul-2023
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.39925
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Thinking with J. Z. Smith
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd