This chapter proposes ways in which theology could promote a critique of idolatries in modern anthropology. It culls resources by scouring Nietzsche’s arguments against modernity. Nietzsche enables a vision of modern anthropology as symptomatic of God’s death in the West, thus inducing questions about the ways its adoration of idols may inhibit a truer inquiry. The chapter finds examples to this effect in anthropology’s engagement with the nation state, humanism, and the constitutive concept of culture. It then speculates as to how a theological repudiation of anthropology’s idols could support a conceptual and institutional renewal going far beyond enhancing its study of religion. For instance, anthropology awakened by theistic rationality could adequately engage with the concept of tradition. It could also forge a new grammar of connectivity within the discipline as well as within the disciplinary arrangements of the modern university.
|Title of host publication||Theologically Engaged Anthropology|
|Editors||J. Derrick Lemons|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|State||Published - 2018|
- Talal Asad
- anthropological theory