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CFP: Religion as a Colonial Concept in Early Modern History (Africa, America, Asia)

Friday, May 15, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni seeks contributors to a special issue on "Religion as a Colonial Concept in Early Modern History (Africa, America, Asia)."

The concept of religion transformed during Early Modern History, both in the "inner” debate generated by the collapse of Christianity, and in "outer” contexts, following a reaction to contacts with other cultures. Meant as a thematic section of our journal, the present call for papers aims to investigate "religion” as a modern concept and a colonial dispositif. The modern concept of religion inspired different processes of "spiritual conquest” – in discursive and practical terms – within the dynamics of the "mondialization” produced in the age of discoveries. The theme section will investigate, through a comparative methodology, the historical resemblances among simultaneous colonial processes taking place in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Critical reflection on historical analogies and differences will contribute to a global mapping of the uses of the concept of religion during Early Modern History. We aim to provide, on the one hand, an archaeology of the general modern concept of religion, and, on the other, a genealogy of religious studies, as a result of the international academic efforts towards a description, comparison, classification and explanation of religion. We expect the authors to investigate the "invention” of religion as a "generalized” concept. Critical voices making use of colonial sources, such as missionary works, travel writings, etc., would be particularly welcome, as well as contributions aimed to emphasize a "connected history of religions.”

Theme Section: issue 2016, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni

Abstract: (max. 500 words) to Sergio Botta ( and Marianna Ferrara ( by June 15, 2015 (paper title, short profile of the author, curriculum vitae, email address, phone)

Paper acceptance: will be communicated by June 25, 2015

Final papers’ submission: December 31, 2015

Scientific board: Sergio Botta, Marianna Ferrara, Alessandro Saggioro

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