The Public/Private Debate in Religious Studies

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Janice L. Poss

Religious Studies Scholarship as Public Intellectuals

1st Edition

Edited by Sabrina D. MisirHiralall, Christopher L. Fici, Gerald S. Vigna

Hardback: 9780815352549

pub: 2018-06-18


eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351139120

pub: 2018-06-13

Purchase eBook $54.95

12 Month Rental - $32.97

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The Public/Private Debate in Religious Studies

Although the public/private debate in religious studies has been going on for a long time, it has not been summarized and examined systematically until now. Sabrina D. MisirHiralall, Christopher L. Fici, Gerald S. Vigna have provided us with a look at how many contemporary scholars are now seriously contemplating the role of that religion has in shaping and forming our political, social and spiritual society.

Has it helped or harmed the US religious landscape and in what ways? Has it been effective, or has it caused more divisions between us? Surely the issue here is complex, multi-faceted and with no easy answers because so much now is at stake and the information coming at scholars to digest and analyze is overwhelming. Electronic media offers a challenge from both the negative and positive sides.

Buzzwords today are: religious literacy and illiteracy, American grief, changing landscape of academia, global challenges, religious “nones”, diversity in minority, religious freedom, scholars as meaning makers and makers of meaning,

Nathan C. Walker, “A Scholar’s Lament”, sums this up succinctly by saying, “The scholar is a meaning maker who, at best, practices ‘good form’ by being intellectually honest and rigorous, constantly working to challenging his or her own biases and narrative. This requires humility, resiliency, and a willingness to seek mutual understanding about seemingly intractable conflicts, aware that need not imply agreement…we are agenda setters.[1]

[1] Walker, Nathan C., “A Scholar’s Lament,” MisirHialall, Sabrina D., Christopher L. Fici, and Gerald S. Vigna, eds. Religious Studies Scholars as Public Intellectuals: 1st Edition. Routledge, n.d. Accessed October 13, 2019, p.30.

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