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Extracting the Paradigm—Ouch!

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Masuzawa's study unearths the founding genealogy of the study of religion, most pointedly the ubiquitous 'world religions' paradigm that shaped the study and teaching of religion well into our era. She reveals more self-conscious European agendas than those familiar from post-colonial research. The paradigms that effectively constructed the field of religious studies have now locked it into costly and contentious projects of divestment. Adding to Masuzawa's achievement by briefly assessing some other nested assumptions—beginning with Christianity as the prototype for the category of religion itself—this response intends to contribute to her project of historicizing our scholarly sensibilities.

Affiliations: 1: Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053-0335, USA


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