Legitimizing Claims of Special Knowledge

Towards an Epistemic Turn in Religious Studies

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.107773

Keywords:

social epistemology, Gnosticism, conspiracy theories, knowledge, decolonialization

Abstract

A significant function of the category “religion” is demarcating and insulating particular claims of special knowledge — but too often, Religious Studies serves to mystify and defend this function, rather than critically analysing it. Drawing on categories in which claims of special knowledge are central, including Gnosticism, conspiracy theories and esotericism, this paper will look at the history of Religious Studies scholars operating within epistemes which it should be critiquing. Yet a focus on multiple and overlapping knowledges, and competition over epistemic capital, suggests a possible future for the social-scientific study of religion.

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Published

2021-06-23

How to Cite

Robertson, D. G. (2021). Legitimizing Claims of Special Knowledge: Towards an Epistemic Turn in Religious Studies. Temenos - Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion, 57(1), 17–34. https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.107773