When we tell an individual to “check your privilege,” we are in fact, putting ourselves in a position of power. It is as if our knowledge of their perceived privilege removes us from having any role within this system—enabling us to judge them.
Traditionally, survey courses in the world’s religions focus on creedal tenets (e.g. the Eightfold Path, the components of dharma, the Ten Commandments, the Five Pillars of Islam). A different picture of religion arises when we survey constructions of ethnicity and gender throughout global history. Students come to notice that while their theologies and traditions may differ, these communities represent cultures of … Continue reading REL 331 Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion
To be clear, I'm not against statistics. We can qualify "religion." We can quantify "religion." But words and numbers represent human relationships (and thus, politics). Religious studies is about striving to see them more clearly. The discipline doesn't have a monopoly on this. But it is our intellectual burden, and we take it seriously.