Religion, Theology, and the Human Sciences

Religion, Theology, and the Human Sciences

Religion, Theology, and the Human Sciences

Religion, Theology, and the Human Sciences

Synopsis

This study explores the religious consequences of the so-called "end of history" and "triumph of capitalism" as they have impinged upon key institutions of social reproduction in recent times. The book explores the imposition of managerial modernity upon successive sectors of society and shows why many people now feel oppressed by systems of management that seem to leave no option but conformity. Richard Roberts attempts to challenge such seamless, oppressive modernity, through a reconfiguration of the religious and spiritual field.

Excerpt

The essays brought together in this collection originate from the period 1989–99, a decade marked at its outset by the momentous events of 1989– 90 when Marxist socialist societies collapsed and the Berlin Wall was breached, accompanied by the proclamation of the much-vaunted 'End of History', which then turned out to be a chaotic and unpredictable 'New World Order' characterised both by much disorder and by the banality of globalisation. Until the summer of 1989 I had been a lecturer in theology at the University of Durham, but I became M. B. Reckitt Research Fellow at Lancaster University in the autumn of that year and embarked upon the project Religion and the Resurgence of Capitalism, a move which rerooted me in the interdisciplinary ambience of religious studies. This new location also allowed me to begin to respond to social and cultural change in what I would regard, in the final analysis, as a form of contextual theology. in 1991, I moved again, this time to the Chair of Divinity at the University of St Andrews.

As it happened, and as is critically outlined in chapter 4 of this book, the beginning of the decade 1989–99 also marked the onset of the greatest revolution in the history of British university education. a whole life-world in which theological, religious, gender and intellectual identities co-inhered in a setting supported by a liberal, critical, individualistic ethos (that had been relatively generously funded during the Keynesian expansion of the Robbins era) was to end, and to be replaced by an industrialised model of mass-production higher education. Having set out to become an individual agent of the critical and reflexive transmission of theological and intellectual traditions, and with the personal goal of helping to create within students a similar relative autonomy, I began to find myself an isolated dissident at odds with a new social reality. This process of 'reform' began under the then Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, and later continued as 'modernisation', or more accurately 'managerialism', under the New Labour government of Mr Tony Blair.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.