Encountering Religion: Responsibility and Criticism After by Tyler Roberts

By Tyler Roberts

Tyler Roberts encourages students to desert inflexible conceptual oppositions among "secular" and "religious" to higher know how people actively and thoughtfully interact with their worlds and make which means. the bogus contrast among a self-conscious and significant "academic examine of faith" and an ideological and authoritarian "religion," he argues, merely obscures the phenomenon. as an alternative, Roberts calls on intellectuals to technique the sector as a website of "encounter" and "response," illuminating the corporation, creativity, and important know-how of spiritual actors.

To reply to faith is to invite what non secular behaviors and representations suggest to us in our person worlds, and students needs to confront questions of threat and changing into that come up from trying out their ideals, imperatives, and practices. Roberts refers back to the paintings of Hent de Vries, Eric Santner, and Stanley Cavell, each one of whom exemplifies come across and reaction of their writings as they traverse philosophy and faith to show secular considering to non secular inspiration and perform. This method highlights the assets non secular discourse can provide to a primary reorientation of severe inspiration. In humanistic feedback after secularism, the traces isolating the artistic, the pious, and the severe themselves develop into the topic of query and experimentation.

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Extra info for Encountering Religion: Responsibility and Criticism After Secularism (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture)

Sample text

Mark Taylor has written extensively about religion and capital, and his words about religion, quoted in the epigraph above, help us with these questions. Religion, he says, is about that which slips away, about the fact that as we pursue and try to articulate and grasp the things most important to us—whether “meaning,” “value,” “identity,” “love,” “God”—they elude us. I would add that they don’t slip away because we are not going after them correctly, but because it is in some sense in their “nature” to do so.

And I need to thank Chuck, once more, for his generous support of the project from beginning to end. As editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Chuck oversaw the publication of early versions of some of the material in the book. His enthusiasm at that point provided a much needed push. He also read the penultimate draft of what follows with the exemplary blend of encouragement and challenge that I know he has shown to many colleagues. I have presented much of this material at conferences, at talks, and in essay form and I thank the colleagues who made these presentations possible.

It seeks to explain the extraordinary in ordinary terms. The second is not necessarily reductionist in this sense. Rather, in what seems to me a more expansive and richer fashion than the first way of thinking about the ordinary, it attends to the intersection between the ordinary and extraordinary in peoples’ religious lives and to the play of life, power, and imagination at this intersection. Even though Wasserstrom does not think that the esotericism of the scholars he studies should be the sole focus of the study of religion or should in any way control the development of the concept of religion, he also does not claim that we should reduce extraordinary religion to ordinary culture and social formation.

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