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Introduction: Some Reasons for This Book

Introduction: Some Reasons for This Book

(p.1) Introduction: Some Reasons for This Book
(p.iii) Who Owns Religion?
Laurie L. Patton
University of Chicago Press

This chapter is about the cultural work of the study of religion through a discussion of controversies of the late 1980s and 1990s. It investigates the encounters where the classically liberal cultural work of the secular study of religion is passionately refuted and refused from 1987 to the early 2000s. The chapter highlights the emergence of the multicultural politics of recognition, which changed the nature of debate in the public sphere. It also analyzes the emergence of the Internet, which changed the nature of readership for all involved in producing scholarship and the emergence of a postcolonial global awareness on the part of transnational religious communities. The chapter also assesses the work of scholars of religion and response by the communities to those scholars, as well as the conversation that ensues in the emergent, turbulent space or “wild sphere”.

Keywords:   religion, Internet, multicultural politics, postcolonial global awareness, transnational religious community, recognition

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