15. The Good, The Bad, and the Non-Religion: The Good/Bad Rhetoric in Non-Religion Studies
Hijacked - A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Christopher R. Cotter [+]
The Open University
This essay explores the ‘rhetoric of good and bad religion’ in regard to recent scholarship on ‘non-religion.’ Engaging with Aaron Hughes description of the ways in which this rhetoric is active in ‘Islamic Religious Studies,’ the author demonstrates that scholars writing on ‘non-religion’ equally make use of these tropes. He also argues that such rhetoric allows ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ moderates to build alliances against anything that is seen to challenge the legitimacy of the liberal, secular state. The conclusion points out that the Christian assumptions perpetuated by non-religion studies and its tacit promotion of neoliberal values have to be critically reflected upon.