Who Owns Religion?
Scholars and Their Publics in the Late Twentieth Century
Other Editions of This Title:
Taking the reader through several compelling case studies, Patton identifies two trends of the ’80s and ’90s that fueled that rise: the growth of multicultural identity politics, which enabled a form of volatile public debate she terms “eruptive public space,” and the advent of the internet, which offered new ways for religious groups to read scholarship and respond publicly. These controversies, she shows, were also fundamentally about something new: the very rights of secular, Western scholarship to interpret religions at all.
Patton’s book holds out hope that scholars can find a space for their work between the university and the communities they study. Scholars of religion, she argues, have multiple masters and must move between them while writing histories and speaking about realities that not everyone may be interested in hearing.
Praise For Who Owns Religion?: Scholars and Their Publics in the Late Twentieth Century…
— Times Higher Education
“Who Owns Religion? boldly identifies and deftly navigates the complex ‘eruptive public space’ that arises when scholars of religion and their multiple publics collide. Patton presents a grounded understanding of particular controversies across multiple traditions, and provides a searching analysis of the larger question of whether religion can be theorized at all without concomitant theorization of the university, the non-academic institution, and the public sphere. Patton’s constructive pathways across this entanglement make this deeply reflexive and well-written study powerfully relevant to any discipline that claims a public face.”
— Leela Prasad, Duke University
“Since its origins in the nineteenth century, the academic study of religion has mostly operated independently of the world of religious adherents. This changed in the late twentieth century, leaving scholars reeling from the intensity of the opprobrium to which their work was subjected. Patton explains the cultural and historical forces that led to the conflict, and, importantly, how we can move beyond the impasse. Filled with insights, Who Owns Religion? is a must read for anyone interested in the study of religion at the turn of the millennium.”
— José Ignacio Cabezón, University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Chicago Press, 9780226649344, 320pp.
Publication Date: November 27, 2019