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

1. Well, Isn’t That Special?’: What We Talk about When We Talk about Identity

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

K. Merinda Simmons [+-]
University of Alabama
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K. Merinda Simmons is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, and author of Changing the Subject: Writing Women across the African Diaspora (Ohio State University Press, 2014). She focuses in her teaching and research on identi- cations of race, gender, and religion in the Caribbean and the American South.

Description

The first section presents Russell T. McCutcheon’s discussion of Ann Taves’ Religious Experience Reconsidered (2011) by way of K. Merinda Simmons’ application of McCutcheon’s critical methodology to a discussion of Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013). In this chapter, Simmons questions and explores what’s at stake in the medias’ interest in Aslan’s “Muslim identity” and furthermore, why and how the conversation involving such an identity is problematic in its own right but, is also indicative of, a certain sort of “academic culture” where connections between one’s data and one’s own “identity” are seemingly taken for granted, expected, or troubled. Taken together, these writings suggest that new approaches to scholarship do not necessarily mean solutions to old issues of reliance and ordering based on assumptions about identity and data. Rather, Simmons calls attention away from assumptions of exceptionalism born from the plastic nature of the sui generis and instead, shifts our focus towards the context and interests of such manufacturing.

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Citation

Simmons, K. Merinda. 1. Well, Isn’t That Special?’: What We Talk about When We Talk about Identity. Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion - Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 19-27 Sep 2015. ISBN 9781781790748. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24305. Date accessed: 20 Sep 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24305. Sep 2015

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