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The Academy as Real Life: New Participants and Paradigms in the Study of Religion

  • Judith Plaskow

Abstract

I find it impossible to speak here tonight at Disney World without taking note of the space in which we are gathered. I’m not sure whether to call it hyperreal or surreal, but we meet in a homogenized, sanitized, relentlessly friendly universe, in which both nature and civilization are deprived of their sting, and human differences are reduced to a series of stereotypes whose primary purpose is to sell as many useless souvenirs as possible. That we have actually come here to work and think together seems a contradiction in this huge playground, in which even the workers are cast as players. Everything that reminds us of our everyday lives is meant to be banished from this “empire of leisure”: work, poverty, crime, litter, surliness, certainly ambiguity or complexity (Soja: 100; Sorkin:208, 228, 231; quotation, Sorkin:228). To note the ways in which issues of race and class obtrude themselves into this paradise—to observe the contrasting colors of tourists and workers, or the ways in which the rough equality created by people standing in lines together breaks down at night as they go off to their hotels to eat and sleep with their own class—seems rude and curmudgeonly a refusal to join in this celebration of the existing order of things, masquerading as escape (Sorkin:228).

Keywords

Black Woman Religious Study Black Church Program Unit Feminist Ethicist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Elizabeth A. Castelli 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Plaskow

There are no affiliations available

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