The Essentials of Critical Thinking
Keywords:Caroline Schaffalitzky de Muckadell, essentialism, definitions, methodology
In this essay, I consider what the publication of Schaffalitzky de Muckadell’s essay “On Essentialism and Real Definitions of Religion” in the JAAR reflects about the state of religious studies as a discipline, arguing that there appears increasing room for overt essentialism in the name of liberal humanism and progressive politics. Reflecting on this unfortunate trend in the academic study of religion, I ask that scholars clarify two things when engaging in critical thinking: the claims embedded in their own identifications and the audience with and to whom they aim to speak.
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