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A reply to Anne Kull, Eduardo Cruz, and Michael DeLashmutt.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2006
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)811-824
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


In my reply to the essays by Anne Kull, Eduardo Cruz, and Michael DeLashmutt, I turn first to Cruz's charge that my use of "the sacred" is at odds with a growing religious studies mainstream that understands religion in secular terms. I suggest that this latter approach has its own problems, deriving partly from its neglect of the political, constructed nature of the category of "religion." Second, in relation to Cruz's suggestion that my lack of attention to explanation compromises my claim to be social scientific, I defend a broader understanding of the human sciences and explore the relationships between understanding, critique, and history, and between sociology and theology. Third, reflecting on DeLashmutt's suggestion that I neglect the way that technical invention provides a glimpse of divine creativity, and the myth making that goes on around technology in vehicles such as science fiction, I argue that such issues have to be approached in a radically historical way. I conclude by identifying three challenges: to explore more deeply how technological objects form part of human being-in-the-world, to show how my approach might offer practical resources for assessing technological and environmental developments, and to expand my analysis to include non-Western religious traditions.