Theology, Religious Studies and the Secular Academy: Rhetoric and the Control of Meanings
The debates among academics over whether Religious Studies belongs within Faculties of Theology, the Social Sciences or The Humanities is a distraction from a more fundamental issue, which is the pervasive and largely unquestioned assumption that religious experiences, practices and institutions are universally distinct in kind and essentially separate from non-religious ones. Theologians and non-theologians alike have contributed to constructing a modern discourse on ‘religion’ and ‘religions’ that tacitly embeds its distinction from ‘non-religious’ or ‘secular’ practices. What is assumed as a commonplace is best understood as a rhetorical construction, which historically has had the ideological function of subverting a much older understanding of ‘religion’ that inhibited class mobility and the growth of capital- ist institutions. The most notable feature of the study of ‘religions’ lies in the tacitly distinct and embedded ‘secular’ or non-religious ground from which the study is assumed to be conducted. It was this wider rhetoric that made possible a basic part of the warp and woof of modern consciousness, the non-religious state and the ubiquitous arena of ‘secular politics’.
Keywords: theology, religion, politics, secular, economics, state, sacred and profane
- The Author acknowledges that the Work will be publicly accessible on the Internet and that such access will be free of charge for the readers.
- The Author guarantees that the Work is her/his original work that has not been published before and cannot be construed as copying or plagiarism. Furthermore, the Author confirms that the Work contains no statement that is unlawful, defamatory or abusive or in any way infringes the rights of others.
- The Author confirms that she/he has secured all written permissions needed for the reproduction in the Publication of any material created by a third party.
Under the CC BY 4.0 license, the Author/s and users are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format,
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially,
- However, the Work must be attributed to the original Author and source of publication.
The license of the published metadata is Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
The Authors maintain the right to:
- copyright, and other proprietary rights relating to the Work,
- the right to use the substance of the Work in future own works,
- the right to self-archiving/parallel publishing (publisher's PDF allowed).
Rights of Publisher
- The Publisher reserves the right to make such editorial changes as may be necessary to make the Work suitable for publication in the publication, e.g. style of punctuation, spelling, headings and the like.
- The Publisher will publish the Work if the editorial process is successfully completed and reserves the right not to proceed with publication for whatever reason.
- The publication entitles the author to no royalties or other fees. This agreement will be governed by the laws of Finland.