14. Studying Religion in a Post-Truth World
Hijacked - A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Stephanie Gripentrog [+]
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Stephanie Gripentrog is a tenured post-doctoral researcher in the study of religion at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany. She received a Dr. phil. in the study of religion from the University of Basel, Switzerland in 2013. Her work focuses on psychology of religion, the history of the concept of religion, discourses on abnormality and religion, and the Arab Spring. She is currently working on a habilitation thesis dealing with the question of the meaning of ‘scripts’ for the relation of religion and revolution in comparative perspective.
This essay focuses on the relationship of scholarly normativity and political pressure. Drawing on the work of Russell T. McCutcheon and Thomas Gieryn, the author argues that scholars are always engaged as public intellectuals and involved in negotiating the boundaries of what can count as real scholarship. In a “post-truth world” the study of religion is challenged to recognize the constructedness of the stories it tells, but at the same time has to demonstrate the value of a perspective that constantly questions normative claims in scholarship and the broader society.