Master of Arts (MA)
violence, deconstruction, religion, secular, binary statements, linguistic archives, Islam, globalization, religious illiteracy, hegemonic discourses
Date of Defense
The thesis argues for the inclusion of the study of religion within the public school curriculum. It argues that the whole division between “religious” and “secular” spaces and institutions is itself rooted in a specific religious tradition. Using the theories of Jacques Derrida, I argue that, unless the present process of globalization is tempered with alternative models of organizing that don’t include this secular/sacred division, the very process of Western globalization acts as a moral religion. Derrida calls this process “globalatinization,” the imposition of Western defined institutions upon other cultures. The process creates a type of religious violence through act of imposing notions of “secular/public” and “sacred/private.” Drawing from Mark Juergensmeyer’s theory of religious violence, and Derrida’s and Foucault’s understanding of discursive formations, I argue that religious studies should enter this “secular/public” space in the form of educating about the world’s religions. Such education would go a long way in preventing the demonization of the “other” through promoting empathy, understanding, and respect for “other” traditions. Finally, education would provide a needed self-critique of the dividing of “secular/sacred” in contemporary Western life.
Arrazola, Andres A., "Deconstructing the Religious Archive and its Secular Component and its Relationship to Violence" (2011). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 472.