The prominence of religion in recent debates around politics, identity formation, and international terrorism has led to an increased demand on those studying religion to help clarify and contextualise religious belief and practice in the public sphere. While many texts focus on the theoretical development of the subject, this book outlines a wider application of these studies by exploring the role of religious studies scholars and theologians as public intellectuals.
This collection of essays first seeks to define exactly what makes an intellectual "public". It then goes on to deal with a few questions of concern: How do public intellectuals construct knowledge in religious and theological scholarship? What is the link between public intellectuals of higher education and their role in society? Do higher education institutions have a responsibility to endorse public intellectualism?
Looking at the individual and collective role of religious studies scholars and theologians in public life, this book will be of great interest to all scholars and academics involved in religious studies and theology across the academy.
Table of Contents
Sabrina D. MisirHiralall
Part I: Our Role as Public Intellectuals
2 The Future of Religious and Theological Studies: What Is Our Responsibility as Public Intellectuals?
Sabrina D. MisirHiralall
3 Claiming Our Voice: Religious Studies and Public Scholarship
Michael D. Waggoner
4 A Scholar’s Lament: Public Acts of Grief in a Nation of Religious Minorities
Nathan C. Walker
Part II: Public Intellectual Theology for the Common Good in the Post-Truth Era
5 Tragedy and Resistance: Religious and Theological Studies for the Common Good
Joel C. Daniels
6 Chess Boards and Boxing Gloves: Public Theology, Aesthetics, and Post-Truth Politics
L. Callid Keefe-Perry
7 Theological Inquiry and Leadership in a "Post-Truth" Era: Insights from Blessed Oscar Romero
Part III: Pedagogy and Praxis of the Public Intellectual
8 Decolonizing the Classroom: Experimental Strategies for Decolonial Pedagogy and Praxis
Gabriel C. Crooks
9 The Responsibility and Limits of Military Chaplains as Public Theologians
10 Religion and Leadership: Taking Some Cues from Focolare’s ‘Inundations’
11 The Faithful Frame: Interfaith Conversation and the Role of the Public Intellectual
Reverend Jane Huber and Rabbi Seth Wax
Part IV: Public Intellectualism Across The Borderlines of Religion and History
12 Welcoming Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Role of Religious Discourse in the Case of Diyanet
Aysenur Sonmez Kara
13 The Philosophy of Islamic Sufism in Public and Private Piety
Dr Walead Mosaad
14 Public Intellectuals at the Dawn of the Anthropocene Age: Can we ReMember?
Sara Jolena Wolcott
15 Theological Anthropology: Christianity's Metaphysic of Oppression
Roberto E. Alejandro
16 Conclusion: Scholars of Religion and the Duty to Speak and Act
Christopher L. Fici and Gerald S. Vigna
Sabrina D. MisirHiralall, Ed.D. received her doctorate from the Pedagogy and Philosophy Program at Montclair State University. Recently, she published Confronting Orientalism A Self-Study of Educating Through Hindu Dance. She serves as Regional Coordinator on the Executive Board of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion.
Christopher L. Fici is a Ph.D candidate at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He serves currently as the President of the Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion, as well as Co-Chair within that region for the Comparative Religion and Ecology section.
Gerald S. Vigna is Associate Professor of Theology at Alvernia University in Reading, PA. He completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at Temple University and Northwestern University respectively. Currently, he is Vice-President/President-Elect of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion.