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Book: Key Categories in the Study of Religion

Chapter: 21. Definition, Comparison, Critique

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39452


This response suggests three ways that might enhance Owen’s contribution on the categories of class and economy, as she analyses hegemonies, normalization of hierarchies and subjugation of marginalized religious groups in the British state’s legal definition of religion in terms of charity. First, by relating definitions of religion in contemporary British law to those in imperial religious studies, and by defining and theorizing economy as suggested by Chidester. Secondly, by comparing the definition and function of religion in U.K. charity law with that in the U.S.A. or global South. Lastly, by clarifying whether her intention is to offer only a description of the normalization of hierarchies by the state, or also to take a normative stance against hegemonies, whether in the academy or in marginalized groups.

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