The Gatekeeping Rhetoric of Collegiality in the Study of Religion
Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Russell T. McCutcheon [+]
University of Alabama
Aaron W. Hughes [+]
University of Rochester
Using as a test case the membership requirements of a longstanding private association for scholars of religion—but also noting such other diverse sites as tenure and promotion criteria and ongoing debates on method in the study of religion—this article examines the practical, gatekeeping function of the discourse on collegiality as it is practiced in the academic study of religion. Given its generally undefined nature and undisclosed criteria, this value is argued to conserve an orthodoxy in the field, inasmuch as it can be used in the service of unprofessional criteria that are strategically useful in patrolling the boundaries of dominant discourses.