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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The politics of naming: the institution of the Religious Studies Department, University of Cape Town
Author:Jethro, DuaneISNI
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:religious studies
Abstract:This article looks at the historical process of the institution of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town from the late 1950s until 1970. Specifically, it pays attention to the negotiations the University of Cape Town entered into with both the State and religious organizations in its pursuit to establish a pluralist and liberal Department of Religious Studies. The article presents three arguments. First, that the drive for the Department of Religious Studies was pivotal for the kind of liberal, political resistance practised at the university in response to the apartheid State's racist political machinations during the 1960s. Second, that religious studies gained its apparently seditious character as a result of it being in stark opposition to the apartheid State's enforcing its religiously divisive and discriminatory Christian National Education policy upon South African citizens during this period. Finally, that the egalitarianism underwriting the plural study of religion is an ideal that is continuously struggled for as it is always situated within a complex of relations between various competing parties bargaining with both religio-philosophical and financial capital. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]