"When the chips are down" : a response to Ambasciano

Title: "When the chips are down" : a response to Ambasciano
Source document: Religio. 2020, vol. 28, iss. 1, pp. [21]-30
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The author comments on Leonardo Ambasciano's book An Unnatural History of Religions: Academia, Post-truth and the Quest for Scientific Knowledge (2019) and develops the line of its argument that a fideistic, sui generis, confessional History of Religions tradition continues due to the tacit support from scholars, institutions and organisations. Gnosticism is presented as a case study, showing how it exemplifies core critiques of HoR, and is supported by the same scholars and institutions, particularly the IAHR. The author then considers the recent British Academy report into Theology and Religious Studies in the UK to argue that the HoR tradition in contemporary Religious Studies is not a "problem to be solved", but rather something at the very basis of the discipline. The argument is therefore made that there cannot be a truly scientific academic study of religion while RS exists.