On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study - James Dennis LoRusso

On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study - James Dennis LoRusso

5. Response: Weaponizing Religious Literacy: "Religionizing" as Revitalizing the Field or Reinforcing Neoliberal Values?

On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study - James Dennis LoRusso

Martha Smith Roberts [+-]
Fullerton College
Martha Smith Roberts is Assistant Professor of Religion at Fullerton College. Martha's teaching covers all aspects of religion in culture and the diversity of religious traditions around the world. Her research and writing focus on North American religious diversity and pluralism, race and ethnicity, new religious movements, and religious studies pedagogy. She has written articles on hula hooping, communities of practice, antiracist pedagogy, and religious diversity and pluralism in the United States.

Description

Responding to Leslie Dorrough Smith's paper, "On the Grammar of Teaching Religious Studies," my work asks questions about our ability to participate in the "noun and verb" forms of religion simultaneously. Thinking critically with the terms "religious literacy" and "tolerance" as anchors, my paper asks if it is possible to think about concepts, like “religious literacy” as ways of framing the kind of knowledge we find so valuable while also reflecting the knowledge that our universities and institutions recognize as having value. Or, as a colleague of mine put it recently, “can we do what is expected and maintain our own integrity while we’re at it?” Can we meet the university’s expectations and institutional requirements and use their language, but still do the kind of work we want to do? This is what I see Smith doing in her chapter, teaching religion and religious literacy in ways that show value to a variety of invested parties (including institutions and students). My paper then uses examples of activities and assignments from my courses that play with the boundaries of these two investments.

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Citation

Smith Roberts, Martha. 5. Response: Weaponizing Religious Literacy: "Religionizing" as Revitalizing the Field or Reinforcing Neoliberal Values?. On the Subject of Religion - Charting the Fault Lines of a Field of Study. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 61-73 Oct 2022. ISBN 9781800502291. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=41072. Date accessed: 07 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41072. Oct 2022

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