Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion - Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined - Monica R. Miller

Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion - Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined - Monica R. Miller

Introduction: Culture, Religion, and the Fabrication of Identities

Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion - Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined - Monica R. Miller

Monica R. Miller [+-]
Lehigh University
Monica R. Miller is Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Lehigh University (Fall 2013) and among other publications, author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge). Miller currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies (Washington, DC), is Co-Chair and founder of Critical Approaches to the Study of Hip Hop and Religion Group (American Academy of Religion) and member of the Culture on the Edge scholarly collective (University of Alabama). Miller is co-author of forthcoming volumes, Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain with Dr. Anthony B. Pinn and rapper Bun B (Bloomsbury Press), The Hip Hop and Religion Reader (with Dr. Anthony B. Pinn) (Routledge) as well as an edited volume on identity, Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion (Equinox). Her work has been featured in a host of regional and national print, radio, live video, and TV news outlets. She has presented her research at colleges, universities, and conferences throughout the U.S., Cuba and Canada.

Description

Beginning with and grounded upon Culture on the Edge’s theoretical reliance upon social theorist Jean Francois Bayart’s claim that “there is no such thing as identity, only operational acts of identification,” in this “Introduction” Miller explores and engages A “Culture” of Influence in Religious Studies” and the all-too-common thought-structure regarding the manner in which concepts, such as ‘culture,’ or here we might even add ‘religion,’ have often been treated, approached, and theorized as concrete entities, real concepts and self-evident constructs that alone are often thought to signify and illumine material experiences and tangible things. Within the study of religion, Miller argues, there is a certain sort of academic “culture” of attributing the irreducibility of difference to the influence and meaning of ‘religion’ as a separate and stand-alone entity unto itself – often assumedly divorced from identity and cultural affinity. Miller engages the complexity of this culture – and introduces this volume and the work of the Culture on the Edge scholarly collective – through an in-depth consideration of the need for attention towards how scholars in the study of religion, such theorist Russell T. McCutcheon (and others) have responded to this tendency within the field to cast religion/the sacred/etc. as sui generis—that is, of its own sort, irreducible—through careful criticisms meant to dislodge the social and political weight of what we call religion from the academic study of religion.

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Citation

Miller, Monica R. . Introduction: Culture, Religion, and the Fabrication of Identities. Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion - Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 1-18 Sep 2015. ISBN 9781781790748. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24304. Date accessed: 22 Sep 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24304. Sep 2015

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