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Liberating Epistemology: Wikipedia and the Social Construction of Knowledge

Issue: Vol 26 No. 2 (2007)

Journal: Religious Studies and Theology

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v26i2.173


This investigation contends that postfoundationalist models of rationality
provide a constructive alternative to the positivist models of scientific
rationality that once dominated academic discourse and still shape popular views on science and religion. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, has evolved organically into a cross-cultural, cross-contextual, interdisciplinary conversation that can help liberate epistemology—especially theological epistemology—from the stranglehold of Enlightenment foundationalism. U.S. Latino/a theology provides an alternative to the dominant epistemological perspective within academic theology that is in many ways analogous to the organic, conversational epistemology embodied by the Wikipedia online community. Accordingly, this investigation argues that the work of human liberation is better served by liberating epistemology from the more authoritarian aspects of the Enlightenment scientific tradition—especially popular positivist conceptions of rationality.

Author: Rubén Rosario Rodríguez

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