My work at the intersection of religious studies, metaphysics, and analytic philosophy of language has made at least one thing very clear: words matter. I mean this quite literally; words are materializations of particular ways of being in the world and they materialize those ways of being in the future. Our categories and our judgments are mutually reinforcing. The fact that most philosophy of religion textbooks revolve around questions of doctrine and argument, for example, has everything to do with its Christian-European historical center of gravity. As a result, philosophers of religion have been overwhelmingly preoccupied with the category of “belief” and have thereby imported the modernist metaphysical assumptions it carries with it about what it means to be human and to be a subject. Towards decentering this traditional vocabulary, my local goal in pursuing global-critical philosophy of religion is to expand the categories by which we ask and answer our discipline-defining questions. My broader goal is to render the development of critical consciousness inseparable from the vocation of humanization.
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