Modern Religion, Modern Race

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Theodore Vial
  • New York, NY: 
    Oxford University Press
    , July
     2016.
     296 pages.
     $74.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780190212551.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

This title is also being reviewed in JAAR by J. Kameron Carter.

Religion is a racialized category, even when race is not explicitly mentioned. In Modern Religion, Modern Race Theodore Vial argues that because the categories of religion and race are rooted in the post-Enlightenment project of reimagining what it means to be human, we cannot simply will ourselves to stop using them. Only by acknowledging that religion is already racialized can we begin to understand how the two concepts are intertwined and how they operate in our modern world.

It has become common to argue that the category religion is not universal, or even very old, but is a product of Europe's Enlightenment modernization. Equally common is the argument that religion is not an innocent category of analysis, but is implicated in colonial regimes of control and as such plays a role in Europe's process of identity construction of itself and of non-European Although it may not be time to abandon the very category of religion, with all its attendant baggage, Modern Religion, Modern Race calls for us to examine that baggage critically, and to be fully conscious of the ways in which religion always carries with it dangerous ideas of race.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Theodore Vial teaches modern western religious thought. He is the author ofSchleiermacher: A Guide for the Perplexed (2013), Liturgy Wars: Ritual Theory and Protestant Reform in Nineteenth-Century Zurich ( 2004); and co-editor of Ethical Monotheism, Past and Present: Essays in Honor of Wendell S. Dietrich (2001). Vial received his B.A. from Brown University and both M.A. and Ph. D. from The University of Chicago.

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