Orientalism and Religion

Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion.

Orientalism and Religion

Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted. He shows us how religion needs to be reinterpreted along the lines of cultural studies. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, such as Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, King provides us with a challenging series of reflections on the nature of Religious Studies and Indology.

Orientalism and Religion

Orientalism and Religion


Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies

Each chapter of the book deals with one regional sub-discipline in Asian Studies, covering Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, South Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, and Central Eurasian Studies.

Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies

Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies analyses the role of religion in past and present understandings of Asia. Religion, and the history of its study in the modern academy, has exercised massive influence over Asian Studies fields in the past century. Asian Studies has in turn affected, and is increasingly shaping, the study of religion. Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies looks into this symbiotic relationship – both in current practice, and in the modern histories of both Orientalism and Area Studies. Each chapter of the book deals with one regional sub-discipline in Asian Studies, covering Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, South Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, and Central Eurasian Studies. The chapters are integrated by shared themes that run through the past and present practice of Asian Studies, covering the role of state actors in originating Area Studies, the role of local scholarship in defining and developing it, the interaction between humanities and social science approaches, debates over the dominance of Western and/or modern categories and frameworks, the interaction of past and present and the role of religious actors and religious sensibilities in shaping Asian Studies.

Orientalism and Religion

objectivity — Hermeneutics and cultural isolationism — Self-reflexivity and ideology 4 Orientalism and Indian religions Orientalism and the quest for a postcolonial discourse — Orientalism and Indology — The inevitability of ...

Orientalism and Religion

Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted. He shows us how religion needs to be reinterpreted along the lines of cultural studies. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, such as Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, King provides us with a challenging series of reflections on the nature of Religious Studies and Indology.

Virtual Orientalism

Virtual Orientalism shows the evolution of these interactions, from direct engagements with specific individuals to mediated relations with a conventionalized icon: the Oriental Monk.

Virtual Orientalism

Saffron-robed monks and long-haired gurus have become familiar characters on the American popular culture scene. Jane Iwamura examines the contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. Encounters with monks, gurus, bhikkhus, sages, sifus, healers, and masters from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions provided initial engagements with Asian spiritual traditions. Virtual Orientalism shows the evolution of these interactions, from direct engagements with specific individuals to mediated relations with a conventionalized icon: the Oriental Monk. Visually and psychically compelling, the Oriental Monk becomes for Americans a ''figure of translation''--a convenient symbol for alternative spiritualities and modes of being. Through the figure of the solitary Monk, who generously and purposefully shares his wisdom with the West, Asian religiosity is made manageable-psychologically, socially, and politically--for popular culture consumption. Iwamura's insightful study shows that though popular engagement with Asian religions in the United States has increased, the fact that much of this has taken virtual form makes stereotypical constructions of "the spiritual East" obdurate and especially difficult to challenge.

Edward Said and the Religious Effects of Culture

This book provides a distinctive account of Edward Said's critique of modern culture by highlighting the religion-secularism distinction on which it is predicated.

Edward Said and the Religious Effects of Culture

This book provides a distinctive account of Edward Said's critique of modern culture by highlighting the religion-secularism distinction on which it is predicated. It refers to religious and secular traditions and to tropes that extend the meaning and reference of religion and secularism in indeterminate ways. It covers Said's heterogeneous corpus--from Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography, his first book, to Orientalism, his most influential book, to his recent writings on the Palestinian question. The religion-secularism distinction lies behind Said's cultural criticism, and his notion of intellectual responsibility.

Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion

They pursue these tasks as opportunities to correct Eurocentric biases that distort knowledge not only of religions originating beyond the West, but of the West’s own traditions. This is the first collection of its kind.

Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion

The present collection of writings on postcolonial philosophy of religion takes its origins from a Philosophy of Religion session during the 1996 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion held in New Orleans. Three presentations, by Purushottama Bilimoria, Andrew B. Irvine, and Bhibuti Yadav, were to be offered at the session, with Thomas Dean presiding and Kenneth Surin responding. (Yadav, unfortunately could not be present because of illness. ) This was the ?rst AAR session ever to examine issues in the study of religion under the rubric of the postcolonial turn in academia. Interest at the session was intense. For instance, Richard King, then at work on the manuscriptof the landmark Orientalism and Religion, was present; so, too, was Paul J. Grif?ths, whose s- sequent work on interreligious engagement has been so noteworthy. In response to numerous audience appeals, revised versions of the presentations eventually were published, as a “Dedicated Symposium on ‘Subalternity’,” in volume 39 no. 1 (2000) of Sophia, the international journal for philosophy of religion, metaphysical theology and ethics. Since that time, the importance of the nexus of religion and the postcolonial has become increasingly patent not only to philosophers of religion but to students of religion across the range of disciplines and methodologies. The increased inter- tionalization of the program of the American Academy of Religion, especially in more recent years, is a signi?cant outgrowth of this transformation in conscio- ness among students of religion.

Rethinking Islamic Studies From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism Studies in Comparative Religion

In the volume's first section, the contributors reexamine the underlying notions of modernity in the East and West, and allow for the possibility of multiple and incongruent modernities.

Rethinking Islamic Studies From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism  Studies in Comparative Religion

Rethinking Islamic Studies upends scholarly roadblocks in post-Orientalist discourse within contemporary Islamic studies, and carves fresh inroads toward a robust new understanding of the discipline, one that includes religious studies and other politically infused fields of inquiry. Editors Carl W. Ernst and Richard C. Martin, along with a distinguished group of scholars, map the trajectory of the study of Islam and offer innovative approaches to the theoretical and methodological frameworks that have traditionally dominated the field. In the volume's first section, the contributors reexamine the underlying notions of modernity in the East and West, and allow for the possibility of multiple and incongruent modernities. This opens a discussion of fundamentalism as a manifestation of the tensions of modernity in Muslim cultures. The second section addresses the volatile character of Islamic religious identity as expressed in religious and political movements at national and local levels. In the third section, contributors focus on Muslim communities in Asia and examine the formation of religious models and concepts as they appear in this region. This study concludes with an afterword by accomplished Islamic studies scholar Bruce B. Lawrence reflecting on the evolution of this post-Orientalist approach to Islam and placing the volume within existing and emerging scholarship. Rethinking Islamic Studies offers original perspectives for the discipline, each utilizing the tools of modern academic inquiry, to help illuminate contemporary incarnations of Islam for a growing audience of those invested in a sharper understanding of the Muslim world.

Rethinking Religion in India

This book critically assesses recent debates about the colonial construction of Hinduism. Increasingly scholars have come to realise that the dominant understanding of Indian culture and its traditions is unsatisfactory.

Rethinking Religion in India

Critically assesses recent debates about the colonial construction of Hinduism. Written by experts in their field, the chapters present historical and empirical arguments as well as theoretical reflections on the topic, offering new insights into the nature of the construction of religion in India.

Gender Religion and Diversity

The range and diversity of their contributions is the very strength of this book, for it shows how gendering works in studying different religious materials, whether foundational texts from the Bible or Koran, philosophical ideas about ...

Gender  Religion and Diversity

Gender, Religion and Diversity provides an introduction to some of the most challenging perspectives in the contemporary study of gender and religion. In recent years, women's and gender studies have transformed the international study of religion through the use of interdisciplinary and cross-cultural methodologies, which have opened up new and highly controversial issues, challenging previous paradigms and creating fresh fields of study. As this book shows, gender studies in religion raises new and difficult questions about the gendered nature of religious phenomena, the relationship between power and knowledge, the authority of religious texts and institutions, and the involvement and responsibility of the researcher undertaking such studies as a gendered subject. This book is the outcome of an international collaboration between a wide range of researchers from different countries and fields of religious studies. The range and diversity of their contributions is the very strength of this book, for it shows how gendering works in studying different religious materials, whether foundational texts from the Bible or Koran, philosophical ideas about truth, essentialism, history or symbolism, the impact of French feminist thinkers such as Irigaray or Kristeva, or again critical perspectives dealing with the impact of race, gender, and class on religion, or by deconstructing religious data from a postcolonial critical standpoint or examining the impact of imperialism and orientalism on religion and gender.

The Birth of Orientalism

Modern Orientalism is not a brainchild of nineteenth-century European imperialists and colonialists, but, as Urs App demonstrates, was born in the eighteenth century after a very long gestation period defined less by economic or political ...

The Birth of Orientalism

Modern Orientalism is not a brainchild of nineteenth-century European imperialists and colonialists, but, as Urs App demonstrates, was born in the eighteenth century after a very long gestation period defined less by economic or political motives than by religious ideology. Based on sources from a dozen languages, many unavailable in English, The Birth of Orientalism presents a completely new picture of this protracted genesis, its underlying dynamics, and the Western discovery of Asian religions from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. App documents the immense influence of Japan and China and describes how the Near Eastern cradle of civilization moved toward mother India. Moreover, he shows that some of India's purportedly oldest texts were products of eighteenth-century European authors. Though Western engagement with non-Abrahamic Asian religions reaches back to antiquity and can without exaggeration be called the largest-scale religiocultural encounter in history, it has so far received surprisingly little attention—which is why some of its major features and their role in the birth of modern Orientalism are described here for the first time. The study of Asian documents had a profound impact on Europe's intellectual makeup. Suddenly the Bible had much older competitors from China and India, Sanskrit threatened to replace Hebrew as the world's oldest language, and Judeo-Christianity appeared as a local phenomenon on a dramatically expanded, worldwide canvas of religions and mythologies. Orientalists were called upon as arbiters in a clash that involved neither gold and spices nor colonialism and imperialism but, rather, such fundamental questions as where we come from and who we are: questions of identity that demanded new answers as biblical authority dramatically waned.

Buying Buddha Selling Rumi

In Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi, Sophia Rose Arjana examines the appropriation and sale of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam in the West today, the role of mysticism and Orientalism in the religious marketplace, and how the commodification of ...

Buying Buddha  Selling Rumi

From jewellery to meditation pillows to tourist retreats, religious traditions – especially those of the East – are being commodified as never before. Imitated and rebranded as ‘New Age’ or ‘spiritual’, they are marketed to secular Westerners as an answer to suffering in the modern world, the ‘mystical’ and ‘exotic’ East promising a path to enlightenment and inner peace. In Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi, Sophia Rose Arjana examines the appropriation and sale of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam in the West today, the role of mysticism and Orientalism in the religious marketplace, and how the commodification of religion impacts people’s lives.

Overcoming Orientalism

The essays in this volume highlight the contributions of scholars from a variety of disciplines who, like -- and often inspired by -- John Esposito, recognize the misleading and politically dangerous nature of Orientalist polarizations.

Overcoming Orientalism

Orientalism is the term applied to scholarship that reduces Islam and Muslims to stereotypes of ignorance and violence in need of foreign control. It has been used to rationalize Europe's colonial domination of most of the Muslim world and continued American-led interventions in the post-colonial period. In the past 30 years it has been represented by claims that a monolithic Islam and equally monolithic West are distinct civilizations, sharing nothing in common and, indeed, involved in an inevitable "clash" from which only one can emerge the winner. Most recently, it has appeared in Alt Right rhetoric. Anti-Muslim sentiment, measured in public opinion polls, hate crime statistics, and legislation, is reaching record levels. Since John Esposito published his first book nearly 40 years ago, he has been guiding readers beyond such politically charged stereotypes. The essays in this volume highlight the contributions of scholars from a variety of disciplines who, like -- and often inspired by -- John Esposito, recognize the misleading and politically dangerous nature of Orientalist polarizations. They present Islam as a multi-faceted and dynamic tradition embraced by communities in globally interconnected but substantially diverse contexts over the centuries. The contributors follow Esposito's lead, stressing the profound commonalities among religions and replacing Orientalist discourse with holistic analyses of the complex historical phenomena that affect developments in all societies. In addition to chapters focusing on diversity among Muslims and interfaith relations, this collection includes chapters assessing the secular bias at the root of Orientalist scholarship, and contemporary iterations of Orientalism in the form of Islamophobia.

Early Orientalism

This book investigates Christian images of the Muslim Middle East, focusing on the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, when the nature of divine as well as human power was under particularly intense debate in the West.

Early Orientalism

The history of western notions about Islam is of obvious scholarly as well as popular interest today. This book investigates Christian images of the Muslim Middle East, focusing on the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, when the nature of divine as well as human power was under particularly intense debate in the West. Ivan Kalmar explores how the controversial notion of submission to ultimate authority has in the western world been discussed with reference to Islam’s alleged recommendation to obey, unquestioningly, a merciless Allah in heaven and a despotic government on earth. He discusses how Abrahamic faiths – Christianity and Judaism as much as Islam – demand devotion to a sublime power, with the faith that this power loves and cares for us, a concept that brings with it the fear that, on the contrary, this power only toys with us for its own enjoyment. For such a power, Kalmar borrows Slavoj Zizek’s term "obscene father". He discusses how this describes exactly the western image of the Oriental despot - Allah in heaven, and the various sultans, emirs and ayatollahs on earth – and how these despotic personalities of imagined Muslim society function as a projection, from the West on to the Muslim Orient, of an existential anxiety about sublime power. Making accessible academic debates on the history of Christian perceptions of Islam and on Islam and the West, this book is an important addition to the existing literature in the areas of Islamic studies, religious history and philosophy.

Exploring Islam beyond Orientalism and Occidentalism

Islamic religion has become an object of political discourse in ways that also affects academic reflection; against this background this volume aims to provide a theoretically and empirically founded assessment of where social sciences ...

Exploring Islam beyond Orientalism and Occidentalism

Islamic religion has become an object of political discourse in ways that also affects academic reflection; against this background this volume aims to provide a theoretically and empirically founded assessment of where social sciences currently stand with regard to Islam. For this purpose, the volume continues to develop the sociological knowledge of Islam that began in the 1980s. Given the Orientalism inherent in sociology, the volume focuses on Muslim knowledge systems and institutions, as well as the practice of Muslim religiosity in various social contexts stretching from Algeria and Morocco to Turkey.

Anglican Enlightenment

William J. Bulman provides a novel account of how the onset of globalization and the end of Europe's religious wars transformed English intellectual, religious and political life.

Anglican Enlightenment

An original interpretation of the early European Enlightenment and the politics of religion in later Stuart England and its global empire. William Bulman provides a novel account of how the onset of globalization and the end of Europe's religious wars transformed English intellectual, religious and political life.

Secular Assemblages

In this book, Marek Sullivan challenges a widespread consensus linking secularization to rationalization, and argues for a more sensual genealogy of secularity connected to affect, race and power.

Secular Assemblages

In this book, Marek Sullivan challenges a widespread consensus linking secularization to rationalization, and argues for a more sensual genealogy of secularity connected to affect, race and power. While existing works of secular intellectual history, especially Charles Taylor's A Secular Age (2007), tend to rely on rationalistic conceptions of Enlightenment thought, Sullivan offers an alternative perspective on key thinkers such as Descartes, Montesquieu and Diderot, asserting that these figures sought to reinstate emotion against the rationalistic tendencies of the past. From Descartes's last work Les Passions de l'Âme (1649) to Baron d'Holbach's System of Nature (1770), the French Enlightenment demonstrated an acute understanding of the limits of reason, with crucial implications for our current 'postsecular' and 'postliberal' moment. Sullivan also emphasizes the importance of Western constructions of Oriental religions for the history of the secular, identifying a distinctively secular-yet impassioned-form of Orientalism that emerged in the 18th century. Mahomet's racial profile in Voltaire's Le Fanatisme, ou Mahomet (1741), for example, functioned as a polemic device calibrated for emotional impact, in line with Enlightenment efforts to generate an affective body of anti-Catholic propaganda that simultaneously shored up people's sense of national belonging. By exposing the Enlightenment as a nationalistic and affective movement that resorted to racist, Orientalist and emotional tropes from the outset, Sullivan ultimately undermines modern nationalist appeals to the Enlightenment as a mark of European distinction.

Imperial Encounters

This masterly work of scholarship brings into view the effects of the very close encounter between India and Britain--an intimate encounter that defined the character of both nations.

Imperial Encounters

Picking up on Edward Said's claim that the historical experience of empire is common to both the colonizer and the colonized, Peter van der Veer takes the case of religion to examine the mutual impact of Britain's colonization of India on Indian and British culture. He shows that national culture in both India and Britain developed in relation to their shared colonial experience and that notions of religion and secularity were crucial in imagining the modern nation in both countries. In the process, van der Veer chronicles how these notions developed in the second half of the nineteenth century in relation to gender, race, language, spirituality, and science. Avoiding the pitfalls of both world systems theory and national historiography, this book problematizes oppositions between modern and traditional, secular and religious, progressive and reactionary. It shows that what often are assumed to be opposites are, in fact, profoundly entangled. In doing so, it upsets the convenient fiction that India is the land of eternal religion, existing outside of history, while Britain is the epitome of modern secularity and an agent of history. Van der Veer also accounts for the continuing role of religion in British culture and the strong part religion has played in the development of Indian civil society. This masterly work of scholarship brings into view the effects of the very close encounter between India and Britain--an intimate encounter that defined the character of both nations.

Orientalism

At a crucial moment in the history of relations of East and West, Orient and Occident, Christianity and Islam, Orientalism provides a timely account of the subject and the debate.

Orientalism

At a crucial moment in the history of relations of East and West, Orient and Occident, Christianity and Islam, Orientalism provides a timely account of the subject and the debate. In the 1960s and 1970s a powerful assault was launched on 'orientalism', led by Edward Said. The debate ranged far beyond the traditional limits of 'dry-as-dust' orientalism, involving questions concerning the nature of identity, the nature of imperialism, Islamophobia, myth, Arabism, racialism, intercultural relations and feminism. Charting the history of the vigorous debate about the nature of orientalism, this timely account revisits the arguments and surveys the case studies inspired by that debate.