Routledge Book Series
Routledge Critical Studies in Religion, Gender and Sexuality
Ulrike E. Auga, Humboldt-University to Berlin, DE
Adriaan van Klinken, Leeds University, UK
Anne-Marie Korte, Utrecht University, NL
Jeanette S. Jouili, Pittsburgh University, US
In contemporary multicultural societies, religious subjectivities, conflicts and contestations often focus on the themes of gender and sexuality. It is evident that in our postcolonial world and in (post)secular ‘Western’ as well as in ‘Non-Western’ societies, the confrontations, profiling and ‘identity’ politics of, over and against religion[s] are often shaped by issues directly related to gender and sexuality (e.g. the recurrent heated debates over women’s veiling, abortion, or homosexuality). The expanding academic field of religion and gender provides critical tools to analyse these issues, and we wish to continue developing critical approaches to the study of religion, gender and sexuality in the book series.
Critique is understood as an investigation into how a form of knowledge is possible but the traditional relationship between critique and secularism is challenged as are even the very categories of the religious and the secular. The shifting power of religion in the public sphere is debated.
The book series strives towards developing and integrating postcolonial, post-secular, and queer theoretical perspectives, culminating in innovative and critical research questions and methodologies in the study of religion, gender and sexuality. These perspectives provide insight into major processes of social, cultural and political change which have an impact on the contemporary representation, role and practice of religion in relation to gender and sexuality, as well as on the academic reflection thereof.
Postcolonial as well as de-colonial theories aim to challenge and deconstruct ‘Western’ dominant models of knowledge, also in the study of religion and gender (for example critiquing binaries like ‘West’/’East’, enlightened/backward and sacred/secular). It pays attention to different experiences of people across geographical, ethnic, racial, religious and sexual diffractions and performances. It seeks to unmask colonial epistemological frameworks, unravel Eurocentric logics, and interrogate stereotypical cultural representations.
From a post-secular perspective, the secularisation thesis, stating that religion is in decline or even that it is bound to disappear completely, is being questioned and criticised. It deconstructs gendered and sexual constructions of religious-secular binaries, for example through studying new spirituality or critically debating the conceptions of religious agency that have been produced within secular gender theory.
In sexuality studies and queer theory, the entanglement of religion, gender and sexuality is studied beyond heteronormative paradigms. It is sensitive to the ways in which religions in the context of postcolonial and post-secular societies can be constitutive of heteronormative religious subjectivities, but can also be a source of rituals, practices and discourses that challenge heteronormativity. Therefore, they can be creatively employed to imagine religious subjectivities outside of heteronormative frames.
The book series is dedicated to the critical study of religion, gender and sexuality and aims to publish cutting-edge innovative work in this field from both established senior scholars and early-career researchers in the field. Primarily located in the field of religious studies, the series will be in conversation and exchange with the broader qualitative social sciences and humanities.
It is aimed at scholars whose research is situated in the interdisciplinary study of religion, gender and sexuality who incorporate critical theoretical perspectives, innovative methodologies, and/or strong epistemological approaches in their projects.
Books published in the series may either privilege empirical research as long as it is embedded in and contributes to systematic epistemological, methodological and theoretical reflections, or may privilege theoretical research as long as it is concerned with providing understanding into critical contemporary questions relating to religion, gender and sexuality.
The volumes published in the series aim at a re-configuring the current domain of religion, gender and sexuality studies. The series is a research (thus not a textbook) series and will publish both monographs and edited volumes.