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Tag Archives: Post-Colonialism

For all our talk of religion being a human endeavor, we are unaccountably unaccustomed to thinking of it as one; we treat it as an abstract phenomenon that can be subjected to a passably “objective” study, like thermodynamics or photosynthesis.

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The disappointment of Western pacifists here is not unlike the reaction of early Orientalists who, disappointed by the ritualism and deity-worship they found in living Buddhist cultures, described a degenerate Buddhism.

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Sri Lanka's army chief General Jagath Jayasuriya  (R) takes part in a Buddhist ceremony in Anuradhapura on October 2, 2010.  The military offered 456 flags belonging to army regiments to bless the troops, and the ceremony is part of the army's celebration of its 61st annivesary this month. AFP PHOTO/Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

I asked him about this quote from J. Z. Smith; he replied that he was correct, religion is a constructed category, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t also real. So Latour takes the constructionist agenda of the post-structuralists a step further. Our categories are indeed invented, but not “merely” so, for they are also real. They become real through our wielding of them.

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What do we mean by globalization? What does this concept have to say to the study of religion? How have religions been agents in the globalization process? What theoretical and methodological issues arise when trying to answer such questions? All of these questions and more are tackled in an interview which touches on post-colonialism, secularization theory, theodicy, Rational Choice Theory, and something called Post-Westphalianism. We hope you enjoy it!

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