Towards a Symmetrical Approach: The Study of Religions After Postmodern and Postcolonial Criticism
29 November – 1 December 2012 * Brno * Czech Republic
“The symmetry postulate”, as David Bloor formulated it, “enjoins us to seek the same kind of causes for both true and false, rational and irrational beliefs.” Such a principle seems to conform to the common sense. At the same time it is often neglected in the field of social sciences. In the light of consequences of this principle, the academic study of religions seems to be predominantly an exercise in asymmetry: neglecting the voices of women and favouring men’s worlds; preferring the voices of experts over those of lay participants, of elites over ordinary people; siding with the winners against the losers. The postmodern and postcolonial criticism of the Western scholarly tradition have brought number of such asymmetries to our sight. Yet, the symmetrical ways are still an unexplored territory.
This workshop on the symmetrical approach would like to offer a chance to explore this unexplored territory together. We therefore invite students of religions, qualitative sociologists, anthropologists, and historians to exchange ideas and scholarly experience and examples of good practice at a workshop on the symmetrical approach in the study of religions held in Brno, Czech Republic.
See the call for papers for a more detailed overview:
Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University
Czech Association for the Study of Religions (CASR)