Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Boyle, M
2010
January
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Beyond the oSigh of the Oppressed Creatureo: A Critical Geographical Enquiry into Christianity's Contributions to the Making of a Peaceable West
Published
3 ()
Optional Fields
RELIGION POLITICS NATION NEOCONSERVATISM GEOPOLITICS TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY IDENTITY PLACE SPACE
100
678
694
At a time when sectarian tension is being viewed as a threat to global peace and religions are being called on to promote ecumenical dialogue and condemn militant fundamentalism, this article offers a critical geographical enquiry into the role of Christianity in the making of a peaceable West. Christianity's historical alignment with the Western project and imbrication in histories of colonialism and imperialism raises questions about its capacity to serve as a progressive force in global affairs today. Placing Christianity under postcolonial scrutiny, this article argues that Christianity offers a variety of complex, contradictory, and competing approaches to peace building that variously defend the hegemonic ambitions of the West on the one hand and support critical practices that usurp and decenter the sovereign supremacy assumed by the West on the other. Critical geographical enquiry can offer Christianity a heightened self-understanding of the role of location, space, and place, in the framing, enactment, and impacts of its different colonial and postcolonial visions. Using the case of the Roman Catholic Church for illustration, the concepts of omilieux of translation,o referring to the social, economic, political, and cultural prisms through which theology becomes refracted into praxes, and oformations of the secular,o referring to the conditions in secular democracies that permit religions prescribed access to the public realm, are advanced as key to any understanding of the situated production and mobilization of Christianity's strategies for peace. Future dialogue between Christianity and (institutional) geography might usefully begin with an exchange of ideas on how the wider project of historicizing, relativizing, and provincializing the West might best contribute to improved interfaith, intercultural, and intercivilizational dialogue.
ABINGDON
0004-5608
10.1080/00045601003795095
Grant Details