The rise of the Nacirema and the descent of European man: A response to manuel A. Vásquez's more than belief

Sylvester Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Manuel Vásquez's Beyond Belief richly examines the prospects of rooting the study of religion more seriously within the imperatives of materialist theory. His study also prompts scholars to consider how attention to the body has been shaped by race and empire. In this essay, I reflect on how the linkage of religion, race, and empire has shaped the imperial history of imagining dark bodies and matter more broadly. I conclude that the ethnographic turn within studies of Western religious subjects signals an important, generative shift in scholarship, one that enables a more rigorous, materially-centered interpretation of Western religious subjectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-481
Number of pages18
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Volume24
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 2012

Keywords

  • colonialism
  • embodiment
  • fetish
  • materiality
  • race
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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