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Scholartracking: the Ethics and Politics of Studying "Others" in the Work of Sam D. Gill

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

What was I to do about the cold, hard fact that I and my teachers before me had manipulated cultural materials beyond the constraints of my sources to make them fit my views, my theories?.... I suspected ... that this incident reflects Western man's way of being in the world-colonist and imperialist, arrogant and insensitive, professing great humane causes but accomplishing the opposite. I began to fear that this tiny incident in my academic practice characterized not only my work but also the work of my profession and my cultural and intellectual heritage. Not wanting to face this way of spending ... my life, the research and reflections that have become this book were self-examination in the service of self-justification: my efforts to rationalize why I am doing with my life what I am.

Affiliations: 1: Ohio State University


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