Theorising from the South

“Theorising from the South: Religion, Decoloniality and Intersectionality”

The study of religion has frequently been critiqued for its Eurocentric methodological and theoretical orientation, and for its orientalising gaze towards the religious beliefs and practices of non-western Others. Indeed, the very concept of “religion” itself has been problematised as being rooted in, and reflective of, western (Protestant) Christian understandings.

In our new blog series “Theorising from the South: Religion, Decoloniality and Intersectionality”, we aim to explore emerging approaches to the study of religion that take their starting point in “the South”. Here, we understand the South as a geographical but also as an epistemological category, rooted in a commitment to decoloniality and in a recognition of epistemic pluriversality (Santos 2018). What are the alternative ways of studying religion in what has been called ‘the pluriversity’ (Mignolo 2018)? Which innovative methodologies, theories, and pedagogies for studying religion are emerging from “the South”? What does studying religion from the South mean for the way in which we analyse the role of religion in public life, and the intersections of religion with other categories, such as of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and with the critical cultural, social and political questions of our time, for instance in relation to the environment and climate change?

For our blog series, we invite a wide range of contributions offering short (around 800 words) reflections on the above or related questions. Contributors are encouraged to draw on their own work and acknowledge their own context and positionality when addressing these questions. We also welcome creative pieces, for instance using photography or poetry, recognising the multiple forms in which knowledge is produced in the pluriversity.

If you are interested in contributing to the series, please send us a short pitch of your contribution, with an indication of the submission date. Please send your pitch to the CRPL student intern, Eden Parry (pr18ep@leeds.ac.uk).