Squeezing into Uncomfortable Spaces: Scholarly Objectivity and Strong Opinions.

No video, but some of the things I said at CESNUR13 Conference..

Dispirited

Below is a version of the paper I gave at CESNUR13. Clearly I will have said more in person: digressed, embellished and clarified, no doubt. But though it may be of some interest…

Isn’t the University emblematic of free speech? It is where we say what can’t be uttered in commercial contexts, or in faith contexts where certain claims are sacrosanct. Shouldn’t the University be where we blaspheme?

For this paper, you’ll have to forgive me the self-indulgence of speaking about my experience and myself. It’s a subjective-experience-based paper, and that seems to require a faintly autobiographical introduction. I outlined the paper to colleague who said: “So it’s all about you then? Why don’t you go and do some proper scholarly work instead?” Charming. But actually I want to begin with some

personal accounts that I think lead to general considerations that impact on the way religions are studied…

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