POSTCOLONIAL REFLECTIONS: CHALLENGES FOR RELIGIOUS STUDIES1 MORNY JOY Of all the recent books published on the topic of Religious Studies as a discipline, few if any take into account the type of reflection that is now occurring in anthropology, history, literature, and aspects of continental philosophy. 2 Much of this reflection is a result of the challenges being posed by men and women of color, by indigenous peoples, and marginal groups, particularly those who reside in coun- tries that were colonized by European powers. Methodological de- bate in Religious Studies, however, remains largely innocent of a critical examination of the "Eurocentric mindset" and its philosophic and methodological presuppositions (see Amin 1989; Asad and Dixon 1984; Bhabha 1990; Radhakrishnan 1996; Young 1990). There are various terms under which this challenge has been regis- tered-orientalism and postcolonialism, to name the most obvious. These terms are not synonymous, nor do their adherents have ex- actly similar views, but what they all focus on is the tendency in Western thinking and cultural attitudes to a dualist division between the unified subject who is the scholarly enquirer, traveler, colonizer and the object/other (whether person or society) that is the recipient of imposed categories
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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