Modern Religion, Modern Race

Hardcover | July 29, 2016

byTheodore Vial

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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 willourselves 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 suchplays a role in Europe's process of identity construction of itself and of non-European "others." Current debates about race follow an eerily similar trajectory: race is not an ancient but a modern construction. It is part of the project of colonialism, and race discourse forms one of thecornerstones of modern European identity-making. Why can't we stop using them, or re-construct them in less toxic ways? By examining the theories of Kant, Herder, and Schleiermacher, among others, Vial uncovers co-constitutive nature of race and religion, describes how they became building blocks ofthe modern world, and shows how the two concepts continue to be used today to form identity and to make sense of the world. He shows that while we disdain the racist language of some of the founders of religious studies, the continued influence of the modern worldview they helped create leads us,often unwittingly, to reiterate many of the same distinctions and hierarchies.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.

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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 willourselves to stop using them. Only by acknowledg...

Theodore Vial teaches modern western religious thought. He is the author of Schleiermacher: 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...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 29, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190212551

ISBN - 13:9780190212551

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"Theodore Vial has given us a wonderfully learned and rich treatment of race and religion in the German Idealist tradition. Long established as one of the leading Schleiermacher scholars in the English speaking world, Vial has done us an enormous service in this text. It not only brilliantlyexplains the thought of Schleiermacher, Herder, and Kant on race and religion, but he also gives us a beautiful genealogy that brings us to our present moment. His work complements and expands the seminal work of Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze and helps us see the racial architecture of modern religiousstudies. Yet what also commends this book is the clarity and precision with which Ted Vial writes. Generations of students will sing his praises for giving them a text that they will understand and remember." --Willie James Jennings, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale University