CFP: Religion and Politics (3/15/06; journal issue)
Radical History Review invites submissions of abstracts for a forthcoming thematic issue exploring the subject of religion and its historical relations to politics, culture and society. We especially encourage proposals for articles with interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives.
While most historians of pre- and early-modern societies have long accepted that religion and politics were inextricably intertwined, the western liberal commitment to secular modernity has generally relocated religion out of the public sphere and into the private, in order to domesticate, tame, and depoliticize religious faith. Consequently, faith and belief appeared inaccessible to systematic historical analysis. Yet, this version of a secular modernity was a form of western, post-Enlightenment myth-making. As Peter van der Veer has argued, religion has constantly erupted into the public and was never fully relegated to an a-political private sphere beyond the reach of historical explanation. Global events¯the political mobilization of religious fundamentalisms throughout the world; a U.S. foreign and domestic policy driven by what Ron Suskind has called a "faith-based presidency"; the changing religious demographics of a once predominately Catholic Latin America; lega!
l debates about the repatriation of aboriginal spiritual artifacts; the rise of secularism in the Middle East and in the Indian subcontinent and the subsequent revitalization and reinvention of religious "tradition" in those regions¯all demand that scholars now reconsider the political, social, and cultural history of religions, past and present.
Religious belief systems, practices, and conflicts have actively informed experiences of modernity in both the west and the non-west. A critical perspective on the history of religion will attempt to comprehend the violence engendered by religious differences, from medieval Crusades to the religious hostilities that erupted during Indian decolonization in 1947, to the contemporary antagonisms shaping everyday life in Palestine and Israel.
The political vitality of religion has, of course, not only manifested itself in destructive ways. A radical history must also account for the ways that religious institutions, practices, discourses, and commitments have provided sources for powerful critiques of modernity, the nation-state, the market, slavery, European colonial rule, and racial supremacy. How can scholars with a commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and progressive change make analytic sense of the complex historical conditions, meanings, practices, and legacies of religion? How might the study of the history of religion(s) across time and space suggest ways to reconceptualize modernity and pre/postmodernity, and to rethink received historical categories previously associated with the development of secular modernity, such as the public sphere, the private conscience, nationalism, colonialism, imperialism, and/or capitalism?
Radical History Review solicits article proposals from scholars across the disciplines, in fields including history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, philosophy, political science, gender, and cultural studies. We encourage potential contributors to explore the following issues, among other possibilities:
• Religion and state violence
• Religious identity within transnational migrations and diasporic communities
• The links between religion/secularism and political and/or social radicalism
• Gender, sexuality and religious belief
• Religion and secularism within civil rights movements
• Religious freedoms and human rights
• Liberation theologies
• Missionaries and imperialism
• The politics of religious iconography
• Faith-based organizing, charity and social welfare
• The commodification of religion
• "Religion" as a category of analysis in history, anthropology, sociology
We also encourage submissions from scholars who teach religious history, for our special section, Teaching Radical History. In TRH pieces, scholars discuss their methodological, theoretical, and pedagogical frameworks, along with course syllabi and reflections on the class experience.
Procedures for submission of proposals and articles:
By March 15, 2006, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing your article to rhr_at_igc.org. By April 1, 2006 authors will be notified whether they should submit their article in full. The due date for solicited, complete articles is May 1, 2006. All articles will then be put through the peer review process. Articles selected for publication after the peer review process will appear in volume 99 of Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in Fall 2007.
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Mar 24 2005 - 08:56:51 EST