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Teaching Religion and Violence$
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Brian K. Pennington

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372427.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

Understanding the Nature of Our Offense

Understanding the Nature of Our Offense

A Dialogue on the Twenty-First-Century Study of Religion for Use in the Classroom

(p.320) Chapter 13 Understanding the Nature of Our Offense
Teaching Religion and Violence

Brian K. Pennington

Oxford University Press

In this dialogue between two scholars caught up in a wave of late twentieth-century attacks on the academic study of religion by offended religious communities, the authors lay out their respective positions on the nature and genesis of these attacks. Kripal argues that such historically recent enterprises as comparative religion promise a certain gnosis, or secret knowledge, and thereby represent transgression against received authority by their very nature. Patton maintains that the scandal of religious studies derives from the dynamics of power and positionality of both scholar and believer. They concur on the need for the protection of plural viewpoints through the work of such organizations as Scholars at Risk in any politically sustainable, global future. Each section of the essay includes discussion questions to be used in classroom contexts.

Keywords:   academic study of religion, comparative religion, gnosis, scandal, Scholars at Risk, transgression

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